With a teeming population and surplus opportunities for development in Agriculture, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Nanono, has ignited a ray of hope for Nigerians, with the announcement of mechanization programmes in 632 Local Government Areas in the country.
Alhaji Nanono, disclosed this when he received the Benue State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, in his office in Abuja. Nanono said the plan is to mechanize the entire Process of food production from cultivation, to processing.
Nanono said: “Each LGAs will have service centres and each centres will have a brand new tractor fully equipped with the admin and IT workshop. “There would also be stores for seeds, fertilizer and excess produce. With these, we will link farmers up with processing industries especially clusters at the local government producing the same thing will be provided with processing plants. ‘’On the issue of soya beans production, we are taking a critical look into this area as a means of boosting food production and creating employment. We have enormous market potential for soya beans in China.’’
Responding, Governor Ortom stressed that Agriculture has the capacity of creating job and engaging the Youth. Ortom said: ‘’If you ask me, Nigeria’s major challenge is not the security problem alone, but unemployment and agriculture remains the one sector that has the capacity for creating jobs, and wealth for the teeming jobless youths. “If we are able to engage the youths, we will have fewer problems in the country.”
Governor Ortom further pledged his willingness to partner with the Ministry of Agriculture.“We are committed to partnering and collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to ensure we provide food security for Nigeria and beyond. Benue State is 35,000 sq meter of land, more than 95 per cent of the land is arable and most of the food produced in the country can be produced in Benue state. And they are able to do all year round farming,” the Governor said.