As part of the post COVID-19 economy recovery plan and commitment towards food security and job creation through the agricultural value chains, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has again reiterated his resolve to make Nasarawa state a mega agricultural hub in Nigeria.
The Governor made the announcement on Friday, when he received in audience a team of agripreneurs from the Nigeria Farmers Group and Cooperative Society (NFGCS), with a road map designed by the group to establish Farm Industrial Parks (Nasarawa State Farm Industrial Parks-NAFIP) across the local government areas in the state.
In his remarks after a presentation and outlines made by Retson Tedheke, national coordinator, NFGCS, Governor Abdullahi said the efforts of the group in state with regards to job creation and food production were not only commendable but had earned them the admiration of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
He thanked the group for accepting to partner with the state government to replicate a model of the farm settlement already established by the group in one of the local government areas in the state.
“As you have seen, Buhari is very impressed with what you have done and the Vice President is also happy with you. That is why he has been monitoring your progress and he talks a lot about it all the times”
“We want to thank you for accepting to partner with the state government and I have no doubt in my mind that the federal government will also offer the needed supports, he said.
Governor Sule further declared that he would team up with stakeholders in his goverment to give maximum support for immediate activation of the project, adding that the approach was commendable.
“I like the approach you have adopted and I am very familiar with what you have in mind- to build farm settlements where you have schools, health centres, recreation center, settlements and other infrastructures”.
He said the idea of youths going to farm and going back home daily is not healthy and ideal for any serious farm settlement to grow.
The project which is expected to create jobs for five thousand women and youths in the state in the first stage of operation and increase to over ten thousand before 2023, is estimated at about N10billion.
The NFGCS’s boss, Retson Tedheke in his presentation said the primary products for cultivation would be soybeans and sesame seeds, which currently a major source of foreign exchange earners.
He noted that ancillary products would also include the cultivation of rice and milling, livestock fattening and dairy, mellon, groundnuts and maize.
On the size of land needed for the project, Tedheke said: “the expectation is a minimum of 5000 hectares and minimum of 2000 hectares of land which may not necessary be in the same location”.
He expressed confidence that the project would not only help the state increase massively in its IGR and foreign exchange, it would attract more foreign investors to the state to position it as a model for agricultural revolution in Nigeria.