By Najib Sani, Bauchi
The Bauchi State government will support rice farmers in the 20 local government areas of the state to cultivate at least 4,000 hectares of land in this year’s dry season.
Governor Mohammed Abubakar stated this while launching the 2017 Fadama III additional financing for dry season rice farming at Konkiyel village in Darazo local government.
He said the state had cultivated 2,500 hectares last year.
Represented by his commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Yakubu Kirfi, the governor said Bauchi was privileged to be the only state in the north east that has the mandate of the National Fadama Development Project to produce rice and sorghum.
He said the state government had approved the payment of its counterpart contribution of N35 million annually.
“The world bank through the National Fadama Development Project provided the sum of 200 million US dollars for the implementation of the Fadama III additional financing in some selected states, Bauchi state inclusive.
“The objective of the additional financing is to boost dry season farming as well as increase the income of land users on a sustainable manner,” he added.
Mr Abubakar further explained that the government had also paid the sum of N20 million counterpart funds for the national food security and livelihood emergency support under the same Fadama III project for the benefit of the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, who have chosen the state as their new home.
Also speaking, the minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe, represented by a director in the ministry, Muhammed Yusuf, said the programme is a collaborative effort of the federal government and the World Bank to scale up food production and generate employment to youths.
He said special attention is being given to four staple crops, namely rice, sorghum, cassava and tomatoes.
“Bauchi state was identified to have a great potential for the production of two of these crops; rice and sorghum. This is when some states have been considered for only one crop.
“Let the state therefore justify the confidence reposed in it by excelling in the production of these crops,” the minister appealed.