Borno invests N30b in agriculture -- Gov. Shettima

 Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno on Thursday said the state government had invested about N30 billion to promote
agricultural production in the state.
Shettima, who disclosed this while conducting the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Fatma Samoura, round some of the ranches at the Government House in Maiduguri, decried Nigeria’s continued dependence on importation.
The governor explained that agriculture held the key to job creation, and it was the solution to the Boko Haram insurgency in the area.
 Gov. Shettima
According to him, it is unjustifiable that Nigeria has continued to import products like tomato, wheat and palm oil, which the country can produce.
``Agriculture offers opportunity to our people in productive venture and it has to be in the whole value chain of agricultural production process.
``We have investment worth over N30 billion in agricultural machinery and the whole mantra is for an increase in yield.
``In Nigeria, we produce five tonnes of tomato per hectare. In England, they produce 50 tonnes per hectare.
He explained that a cow in Nigeria produced one litre of milk per day, while a cow in Germany produced 40 to 60 litres per day.
``So, the whole mantra is to increase yield and we have to invest in modern technology and improve seed varieties, fertilisers and other modern agricultural practices.
``We have over 50 combined harvesters, we have 700 planters, right now, we have about 600 rice mills.”
Shettima said the state government had established 10 industries, including a tomato processing plant as part of initiatives to take advantage of the core value chain in the agricultural production process.
He said the plants would take advantage of the huge quantum of tomato and other raw materials produced in the state and its environ.
The governor said that the state had also invested in poultry production that would be used to implement the government's
school feeding programme.
He added that ``we just imported 3,000 units of Anglo-Sahelian goats from Niger and Chad that are superior to our local varieties and we are buying 100
Kalahari South African goats.
``We want to give every woman a male and a female goat as parts of government's determination to enhance their living standard.
``This is because women are worst-hit in the insurgency that bedevilled the North East part of the country and must be assisted to start a new life.''
Responding, Samoura commended the governor for the decision to re-open public schools that had been closed and occupied by
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The UN official also commended the governor for buying 80 long buses used in conveying pupils and students to and from schools free
of charge.


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