Posted by News Express | 16 September 2015 | 2,844 times
The Yobe State Government has constituted a five man committee mandated to design modalities for effective irrigation farming.
Governor Ibrahim Gaidam inaugurated the committee on Tuesday in Damaturu the capital of the state.
He mandated the members to commence plans towards setting up irrigation farms spread across irrigation viable areas with a view to engaging 40,000 youths in the state.
The governor also said the setting up of the task force became necessary because of the current climatic change and limited rainfall period which often had adverse effect on arable crops in the state.
According to the governor, statistics show that vast 366,000 hectares of irrigation land abound in the state, out of which only 30,000 to 40,000 are being utilised, a situation he said his administration was determine to change.
He also revealed that between 34,000 to 50,000 hectares had been identified which could create job for hundreds of citizens in the state.
“We consider the development of irrigation as very important in the state because we can no longer continue to depend on rain-fed agriculture in view of the very serious challenges it poses to agricultural development in the state.
“The situation is further aggravated by climate change, shift in growing season and limited rainfall period with the attendant effects on most arable crops in the state.”
The state is endowed with 14 seasonal and perennial Rivers and streams with the Yobe River being the longest, covering a distance of over 200 kilometres which needs to be tapped to the fullest.
The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Gambomi Goni, thanked the governor for considering them worthy for the appointment, saying that the assignment given to the team is a familiar terrain to all of them.
Mr. Goni, a renowned agronomist, further assured the Governor that they would justify the confidence reposed in them.
The committee will identify areas to site the irrigation farms, establish major irrigation schemes, reactivate or expand farms, create employment to 40,000 youths through irrigation farming across the state and also widen or dredge Oxbow Lake and waterways across the state among others.
Yobe State is one of the three states in the North-East worst hit by terrorists’ activities in the last five years that has displaced over 1.5 million persons.
Since the price of crude oil started dropping, the need to diversify Nigeria’s economy has forced more attention on agriculture, which was the oil-rich nation’s economic mainstay before the discovery of crude. (Channels TV)
•Photo shows Gov. Gaidam
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