Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state has said that his administration is investing heavily in agriculture in order to increase the food security status of the state and to increase the sectors’ contribution to internally generated revenue.
The governor made the assertion during the celebration of the state Farmers Day and inauguration of 381 Agricultural extension workers and distribution of motorcycles to them, at Kadawa in Garun Mallam local government area.
“Oil money has dropped so the best option is for us to focus on agriculture so as to shore up our revenue, to enable us address the development deeds of our people”, he stressed.
“We, as a leading wheat production state, have invested substantially in production of the commodity. For instance, the government provide N100 million interest-free loan to wheat farmers , drilled 1,000 tube wells, distributed 5, 000 hand pumps and procured two combined harvesters, clearing, sorting and grading machine, among others, to boost production”, the governor maintained.
Governor Ganduje also stated that moves are on for the improvement of milk and meat production in the state as two Artificial Animal Insemination centers have already been established and equipped in the state.
He stated that the new agricultural extension workers were recruited to build the capacity of farmers even as the government is encouraging private sector investment across all the agricultural value chains.
In a related development, Governor Ganduje made a stopover at Gafan, also in Garun Malam local government area where he addressed Tomato farmers, who produce were destroyed by “Tuta absoluta” locally referred as Tomato Ebola.
Tuta absoluta is a harmful leaf mining moth, also called tomato leaf miner and has a strong preference for the tomato plant. It has destroyed farmlands in Kano and across the country, which has made the price of tomatoes sky-rocket in the past few weeks.
The governor, who lamented the huge amount of loss incurred by the farmers, said a census of the affected famers is being carried out by the government while contact has already being established with two research institutes for provision of antidotes for the moth.
Some tomato growers who spoke with the governor explained they had incurred more loss than victims of the recent fire outbreak at Sabon Gari market, exacerbating the prevailing harsh living condition in the country, for them.