Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh on Wednesday launched the drilling of 1,000 tubewells across 24 local government areas of Kano state, as part of initiatives by the state government to encourage farmers to produce more wheat under its commercial agriculture programme.
The Federal government has declared its intention to stop importation of wheat, rice and other food stuff as part of its resolve to exploit the country’s huge potentials in the agricultural sector, against the background of the gradual collapse of the oil sector.
Commissioning the tubwells at Alkamawa in Bunkure local government area, Chief Ogbeh said that with what he saw on the ground in terms of terms commitment of the farmers and the political will of the state government, the agricultural revolution has commenced from Kano state.
“I am personally excited by what I have seen here. I think the revolution in agriculture has started, and I am looking forward for the day when Nigeria would begin selling wheat and not importing wheat,” the minister stated.
He assured that the Federal government would assist farmers and entrepreneurs in the value chain of rice, wheat and other commodities so that they would grow from subsistence to commercial production levels.
The Minister, therefore, charged farmers in Kano to produce wheat as much as they can because Nigeria has the potential to become a net exporter of the commodity, saying the time for farmers to be legitimately rich has come.
He assured that harvesting tractors would be supplied to farmers in the country at subsidized rates, as part of efforts to fast track mechanization and commended the Kano state government for its commitment to agricultural productivity, appealing to other states to emulate the good model.
In his remarks, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said his administration is determined to ensure farming is all year round farming, pointing out that this prompted the government to drill 1,000 boreholes under a programme tagged “Drive Away Dry Season”.
“The state’s agricultural policy provide necessary impetus aimed at facilitating increased agricultural output and employment generation to the teeming populace under the newly introduced concept of developing commercial agriculture”, the governor maintained.
Stressing that the state has irrigable spaces ranging from 20 hectares to 48, 600 hectares, Dr. Ganduje explained that the state is blessed is with water bodies that are sufficient to irrigate up to 400, 00 hectares and would equally provide high potential for fish production.
The governor said his administration had recently provided 5, 000 water pumping machines to irrigation farmers in the state for free, urging irrigation farming communities in Kano to embrace commercial agriculture for the overall good of the state.