Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya says his administration will continue to partner with the Federal Government in its Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) geared towards facilitating the development of various value chains in order to ensure food security and job creation among the teeming populace in the State. The Governor was speaking at the ground breaking ceremony of the 2021 dry season for wheat production by National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) in conjunction with the Gombe State Government at Dogon Ruwa in Kaltungo Local Government Area.
He said the development of these value chains in Rice, Sorghum and Tomatoes among others will help provide employment opportunities to many people, who will serve as service providers, manufacturers, financiers, producers and transporters. The Governor emphasised that his administration is ready to render all the needed assistance NALDA would need to execute the present and future projects in Gombe State. He observed that the ground breaking ceremony forms part of the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and that of Gombe state government to attract youths and encourage them to see agriculture as a way of life and means of livelihood in order to attain economic prosperity.
Governor Yahaya said the dry season wheat production is in line with the ongoing efforts to bridge the national deficit in wheat production and reduce importation, maintaining that the project which targets 9 states with a land size of about 2,500 hectares is expected to yield about 10,000 metric tons of wheat. The Governor revealed that the state governments are to provide the lands while inputs such as seeds, pumping machines, generators, fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides are to be delivered to the selected farmers by NALDA. “Gombe State is the only state in the federation that ensured bush clearing, land preparation and wash boreholes for the farmers as a means of subsidy to the loans by NALDA. We are indeed happy and grateful for being part of this national feat”.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya appreciated the laudable projects executed by NALDA in Gombe State which include support for dry season cultivation of wheat on 200 hectares for about 400 farmers at Fafa in Nafada and Dogon Ruwa in Kaltungo Local Governments; Perishable Vegetables Market at Kwadon in Yamaltu/Deba Local Government; support for 250 pepper farmers across the State; support for fishermen at Dadinkowa Dam, and support of 50 farmers at Kumo, Akko Local Government Area. “All these are testimonies in fulfilling our campaign promises to the people of Gombe State and the federation at large by the APC led administration. You are aware that agriculture is the mainstay of our economy which provides food and employment to over 75 per cent of the populace. Government will not relent efforts in providing the necessary assistance and supports needed by this group to meet up with their requirements”.
He added that Gombe State Government will continue with the implementation of various agricultural programmes which are aimed at assisting farmers with inputs such as fertilizers, water pumps, seeds, agro-chemicals and other irrigation equipment which is in line with the State 10-year development plan. “Government will continue to provide the enabling environment for our youths to be engaged in agriculture. We will ensure the take-up of the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Training Centre at Garin Tafida, Yamaltu Deba LGA. Equally, the farm estate institute of NALDA will take-up at the same centre. Government will commence the training of youths in poultry and livestock production to boost the economic base of the State and empower them economically”.
Earlier in his address, the Executive Secretary, National Agricultural Land Development Authority, NALDA Prince Paul Ikonne said they were in Gombe State at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandate to boost food security and provide job opportunities to the youths through the agricultural value chain. He said Nigeria is in dire need of wheat production in view of the fact that the nation’s value import is more than its output and that the country consumes more than it produces. He maintained that the prevailing scenario presents a lucrative opportunity for farmers in Gombe State to explore and make a fortune. The NALDA Executive Secretary noted that Gombe State is favourably endowed by the mother nature for the production of wheat and therefore engaged in Agriculture, especially wheat production.
He commended Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya for his positive disposition towards the development of Agriculture in the State, saying the one hundred hectares of land provided by the Gombe State Government at Dogon ruwa and another one hundred in Nafada Local Government Area will engage 400 youths in dry season wheat production. Earlier in his address of welcome, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Muhammad Magaji Gettado said the disposition of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya towards the development of Agriculture in the State has earned Gombe so many national and international interventions, one of which is the one coming through NALDA which seeks to boost wheat production in the State.