Sokoto state government is poised to bank-roll 1,000 graduates in the state with a N2 billion rolling loan to enable them participate in a pilot farming and products marketing scheme that would be supported by the Flour Mills of Nigeria.
This is as the state reinvigorates its long standing partnership with Flour Mills with a view to deepen the existing relationship so that farmers in the state would improve on their yield, generate more income, create more jobs so that the state and the country will benefit.
According to a statement signed by the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the governor, Muhammad Bello, Governor Aminu Tambuwal revealed this during a meeting with the management of Flour Mills Nigeria in the organization’s head office in Lagos.
Gov. Tambuwal said that each and every beneficiary of the revolving loan scheme would be expected to cultivate value-chain crops of soya bean, wheat, sesame and other export commodities such as gum Arabic and hibiscus as well as garlic on a 500 hectare piece of land in different parts of the state.
“Once the graduates are brought on board, the traditional farmers will also key in to the scheme and expand its scope and relevance,” Gov. Tambuwal said.
He said already the state government is working on four major irrigation schemes which it hopes to utilize to fast track the partnership between it and Flour Mills in the drive to produce and market export crops.
Chairman of the Flour Mills Nigeria, John Coumantros emphasized that the company is desirous of further collaboration with the state in areas of soya bean/maize seeds aggregation, green silos aggregation, the development of wheat seeds varieties, the blending and distribution of fertilizer.
“We are pleased to partner with Sokoto state on such a laudable project and we are happy to bring our wealth of knowledge and expertise from executing similar projects in other agriculture-focused states in the country.
“Our strong belief that local agricultural production is the catalyst for Nigeria’s industrial transformation is unwavering. I am delighted that we can work together with Sokoto state to build a vibrant agricultural sector and continue to promote its seamless integration with industry.
“In line with our purpose of feeding the nation, every day, we are positive that we will create value for farmers and stimulate diversification in the industrial sector of Sokoto state and Nigeria at large,” he added.