Agricultural policy underway in Plateau—commissioner
The Plateau Government says it will soon come up with a policy that will guide and promote agricultural activities in the state.
The Plateau Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs Linda Barau said this when the National President, Nigerian Association of Women in Agriculture (NAWIA), Mrs Ngizan Chahul visited her in Jos on Friday.
Barau said Gov. Simon Lalung was committed to boosting agriculture to ensure adequate food production in the state.
To this end, he noted that the statement government would leave no stone unturned by providing the necessary support for the sector to thrive.
The commissioner said that the state government recently held the maiden edition of its agricultural summit held in April as part of efforts to design the policy.
“Because we want to make Plateau the hub of food production in Nigeria, coupled with the passion our governor has for agriculture, the need to have a good policy has become imperative.
“We are planning to hold a post-harvest summit, after which there will be stakeholders’ forum where a policy for the agricultural sector in the state will be designed.
“We shall forward the draft copy of the policy to the state House of Assembly for consideration and onward passage into law,’’ she said.
Barau said the state government had allocated N5.4 billion for the agriculture sector in its 2017 budget, and would ensure that the fund was adequately utilised.
She assured that the funds would be promptly released to ensure that all agriculture-related programmes were implemented in full.
Earlier, Mrs Chahul said the advocacy visit was to urge the government to put in place an agriculture policy and increase budgetary allocation to the sector.
She said the association wanted the government to adopt a marketing strategy that would encourage farmers to produce beyond subsistence level.
“When there is value addition, with a reliable market it will kill the activities of middle men, people will see agriculture as a business and will venture into it without hesitation.
“When there is an agricultural policy on ground, it will attract investors because they will have something that will guide and stimulate them to invest in the state,’’ she said.
She commended Plateau Government for supporting its farmers with farm inputs and other farming implement, and urged it to do more to make farming a viable venture.
NAN reports that Chahul was accompanied by other national officials of the association