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Borno Spends Over N30bn On Agric, Seeks Further Assistance

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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BEVERLY HILLS, April 28, (THEWILL) – The Borno State Government said it had spent over N30bn on massive agricultural programmes to boost food production and create employment opportunities in the sector.

These, it said, were aimed at providing a lasting solution to the Boko Haram crisis.

The State governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, disclosed Tuesday while briefing journalists after inspecting a massive irrigation scheme in Maiduguri believed to be the largest in West Africa .

He however said much more still needs to be done as he called for both national and international assistance for the state government’s massive agricultural programmes.

According to Shettima, the major step at economic rebirth and rehabilitation of the state which has been troubled by the five-year-old Boko Haram insurgency is heavy investment in agriculture.

The governor noted that with the assistance of both national and international agencies in the Borno Agricultural Transformation Plan, the first step towards rebuilding the state ravaged by Boko Haram would have started.

Shettima disclosed that plans were underway to have such projects scattered across the state, saying all that is needed is assistance from both national and international organisations.

According to the governor, over 100 seeds multiplication centres using sprinkler Irrigation system will be established across the 27 local government areas of the state as soon as peace returns.

Disclosing that the Maiduguri centre was a pilot project started in the state capital because of the ongoing security challenges , he said as soon as this is over “we will move to all other local governments.”

According to Shettima, “Unemployment is a time bomb, which if not tackled within the shortest possible time, will explode and have devastating effects on the society, hence the huge investment in the agricultural sector, as it is the main employer of labour.”

The governor was conducted round the irrigation scheme by the Chairman, Borno State Agricultural Transformation Team, Engineer Ibrahim Ali, who disclosed that each of the Green House will consist of 19 beds capable of producing 2.5 million seedlings of tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables in two weeks.

According to Ali, “these agricultural projects is one of the biggest in sub Saharan Africa and we have to train our staff properly before fully engaging them to assist our foreign technical partners.”

He further disclosed that the state government would soon establish a multi crop processing plant in the state in order to minimize waste due to poor preservation method in Nigeria.