The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says the agricultural revolution embarked upon by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is yielding desired fruits.
The minister stated this on Monday in Birnin-Kudu near Dutse, Jigawa when he inspected Malam Alu Integrated Agro and Allied farm complex.
The complex also housed a 50-metre-high pole, hoisting the Nigerian flag – the tallest flag pole in Nigeria and the second tallest in Africa.
Mohammed said the integrated farm project with full automation soilless tomato green house, poultry, fish pond, dairy and fertilizer blending plant was a clear testimony to the success of the Buhari’s agricultural revolution.
“At least, two programmes of this administration, the Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, have succeeded in revolutionising agriculture in Nigeria.
“For those who may not remember, the Federal Government inaugurated the anchors borrowers programme in Nov. 2015 through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to help boost the nation’s agricultural sector.
“Today, that programme has catalysed the production of such crops as rice, maize, wheat and tomato, just to name a few, boosted local production and reduced heavy importation.
Then, there is the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, which is aimed at stimulating local production of NPK fertilizer by reviving moribund fertilizer plants and the local blending ferilizer industry.
“This has helped in making fertilizer available to Nigerian farmers at affordable prices and saving 200 million dollars in Forex and N60 billion in budgetary provision for fertilizer subsidy, and of course creating thousands of jobs in the process,’’ he said.
The minister said many farmers across the country had taken advantage of the programmes to create the kind of massive farm as the Malam Alu agro and Allied farm.
He said the Federal Government’s ’s initiatives coupled with the ingenious programmes of the state government had made Jigawa a shining example of the success of the agricultural revolution.
“I implore other farmers and other states to take advantage of the anchor borrowers programme and the presidential fertiliser initiative to revolutionise agriculture in their areas,’’ he said.
Speaking on the tallest flag pole in the complex, the minister said the initiator of the project, Hon. Farouk Adamu used one stone to kill two birds by showcasing successes in agriculture and tourism.
“He is not only showcasing success in agriculture, he is also helping to make Jigawa a choice destination for tourists by erecting the tallest Nigerian flag pole in the country.
“This is good thinking for which I commend him,’’ he said
The minister said the fact that the state government had succeeded in making Jigawa one of the most peaceful states in the country, showed monumental achievement spanning agriculture, tourism and security.
The Jigawa Governor, Badaru Abubakar said the Buhari’s agricultural revolution programme had impacted positively on the development of the state.
He disclosed that Jigawa was the third largest rice producer in the country, the largest producer of sesame and hibiscus and the state would soon take the lead in groundnut production
“These all happened because of the massive support we received from President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The anchor borrower programme has been very remarkable and the federal fertiliser initiative has supported our farmers to get easy access to fertiliser at cheap and competitive prices.
“Because of the massive irrigation project supported by the Federal Government, we now have planting all year round and where we have not seen water in the last 14 years, water is now flowing,’’ he said.
Speaking on the flag, the governor said he would be willing to approve request by the Federal Government to take it over as national monument.
On his part, the chairman of the integrated farm said he was inspired to come home to invest because of the encouragement by the Federal Government for people to invest in agriculture.
Aliyu said the complex, spanning 70 hectares contained poultry with 120,000 layers, Dairy with 400 heads of cow, fertilizer blending plant with capacity of 40 tons per hour and a Green House that produced 20 tons of tomato weekly.
He said the tallest flag erected in the complex was to attract local and international tourists to the farm complex and the state.
The event was attended by the Emir of Dutse, HRH Nuhu Sanusi, political and other traditional leaders in the state.
In the company of the minister to the event were, the Directors-General of Nigeria Television Authority, Yakubu Ibn Mohammed, Radio Nigeria, Monsur Liman and National Orientation Agency, Garba Abari.
Others were, the D-Gs of National Commission for Museum and Monument, Prof. Abba Tijani and Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation, Folorunsho Coker.