The Gombe State Government said on Wednesday that it was working on a plan that would transform the state into the country’s agricultural hub.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture in the state, Mr Obel Yaji, said this in an interview in Gombe.
He said the state government’s efforts toward boosting productivity and making Gombe State a major food production zone, was part of efforts to ensure food security for the country.
Yadi noted that Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State had prioritised agriculture as a result of its opportunity for lifting the people out of poverty and raising the farmers’ income.
He said the state government was partnering with the Federal Government and other private bodies, to ensure that agricultural potentialities of the state were harnessed for the benefit of the people.
“This administration is certainly looking towards making the state a food hub in the country.
“Last week, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, was in Gombe State, to inspect Wawa Zange Grazing Reserve.
“The visit was with the intent to ensure that our livestocks are kept in a place with enough food and water, and the herders being provided schools, medical facilities, roads and even markets.
“With such modern reserve, livestock sector will witness a boost. “Livestock is an important aspect of agriculture that needs harnessing for maximum benefits, for the economy of the state and the nation as well,’’ he said.
According to him, the state government is now more proactive in responding to the demands of farmers in the rural areas, adding that such immediate response would eliminate the challenges militating against productivity in the sector.
“In the months of July and August, we had pest outbreaks in some local government areas and the state government was so proactive; we moved in quickly to spray the affected areas against insects and grasshoppers’ attack.
“We have also been sending agricultural extension officers to sensitise farmers on how best to preserve crops, and the best agricultural practices to get better productivity,’’ he said.
Yaji hinted that the state government was already working towards the procurement of fertilisers for dry season farming in the state.
He called on farmers in the country to embrace the use of improved seedling, adding that food security might not be achieved if farmers jettisoned the use of certified seeds and modern agricultural practices.