By NBF News

Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa has said that the mango section of his farm, Sebore Farms, could generate N5 billion annually. Nyako disclosed this while addressing farmers at the Yola South Farming Skills Acquisition Centre.

According to him, the farm, with 50,000 mango trees, had the capacity to produce 10,000 tonnes of mangoes annually, representing 200 kgs of mango per tree.

'If you make juice with 10,000 tonnes of mangoes at the present price of juice in the market, you will get about N5 billion, while all it would cost you to process the juice won't be more than N1.5 billion.

'That is, I will be taking home N3.5 billion annually all things being equal. This is excluding earnings from my dairy and fish farm,' Nyako said.

Nyako said he gave example with his farm to underscore the importance of commercial farming.

He said the establishment of the agricultural skill acquisition centres in  the 21 local government areas of the state was to reinforce the need for commercial farming.

The centres, he said, were designed to train rural farmers on modern farming techniques.

He noted that due to the adoption of modern farming methods, farmers in other countries harvest 180 tonnes of maize on the same farm size where Nigerian farmers realize six tonnes of maize.

'Where your dairy cow gives you 150 litres of milk, I want to tell you that in another part of the world a cow gives 15,000 litres within the same period.

'The area where you now get six tonnes of onion, I want to tell you that for the past 15 years in Yemen, your colleagues are getting 120 tonnes,' the governor said. He expressed fear over the country's population growth rate, saying that it might double in the next 25 years.

He, therefore, stressed the need to double efficiency in food production to avoid food crisis.

'The population is growing while the land is not growing but rather decreasing due to desert encroachment. We must do something about our food security,' Nyako said.

He attributed the recurring problem of sectional crisis in the country  as a manifestation of poverty caused by hunger and malnutrition.

He also observed that the major problem facing farmers in the country was not really the lack of access to fertilizer and seedlings.

He used the occasion to announce plans by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to establish a food fortification factory in the state.