In a renewed effort to strategically reposition Taraba state and make it more vibrant and to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Tarabans, most especially in the areas of Agriculture and solid minerals development.
This was the thrust of Taraba state Governor, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku during a courtesy visit on two Federal Ministers. The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, John Kayode Feyemi and his counterpart Audu Ogbe of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The first Ministry’s place of call was the Office of the Hon. Minister of Solid Minerals, Kayode Fayemi where Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku told him that he was in his Office to fine tune ways on how to consolidate on the diversification policy embarked upon by the Federal Government in the mining sector.
Governor Darius Ishaku said the state is blessed with lots of natural resources such as Gold, Blue Sapphire, and granites among other resources in different locations parts of the state that are in commercial quantities.
He lamented that lack of commitment on the part of both Federal and State Governments in the past gave rise to illegal mining, which has deprived them both of revenue and solicited for more proactive measures from the Federal Government to curb the menace.
Governor Darius Ishaku spoke more on the activities of illegal miners; as Sapphire and Gold are being mined illegally. If Taraba can organize it and get in professionals, then Federal government will get her taxes, the state and then the local miners can be engaged to work in these factories; he stated.
Responding, the Hon. Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi promised to take the matter up, acknowledging that he is going to work in consultation with the Governor and posited that, with the varieties of solid minerals in Taraba state and the diversification initiative of the present dispensation, T araba would benefit maximally.
Kayode Fayemi said he was reasonably convinced that Taraba state would take the lead and produce the right results in the face of present diversification process which is aimed at relieving the country from over dependence on oil revenue for the sustenance and development of the country.
While at the Ministry of Agriculture, Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku informed the Minister, Audu Ogbe, that Taraba is an agrarian state, with the capacity and potentials for rice production that will meet the rice requirement of the Country.
Darius Ishaku maintained that many other crops such as cassava and cashew are produced in large quantities and added that, all that is needed is to create the enabling environment by providing the local farmers with the necessary incentives to motivate them thereby engaging them to key into the diversification initiative.
He informed the Minister that Taraba state in collaboration with DADCO, from Netherlands, constructed a cassava processing Factory and explained that the company has not been functional for some time now due to some administrative misunderstanding with the partners, DADCO.
The Governor also intimated him on the large scale rice farming which has commenced in Taraba state but lamented that the farmer had to live because of the crisis that engulfed the area and said arrangements had been concluded with security inclusive, for the farmer who is an American to return and continue with his farming activities.
He calls for Federal government presence in the state to boost farming activities most especially in the areas of rice and cassava farming.
In his speech, Chief Audu Ogbe described the visit as timely and exhaled the rice agricultural potential in the state and said this is the time to diversify the Agricultural sector.
Chief Audu Ogbe told the Governor that Taraba has a special place in the diversification process with particular interest on the Mambila Plateau because of its suitable weather conditions and intimated the Governor that distinct variety of saffron has been ordered from India, which would be tried on the Mambila.
He maintained that crops such as Irish potato, avocado peas and legumes are doing very well in the Plateau and asserted that Agriculture would be reinvigorated to the highest level with special focus on the Mambila Plateau.