In an effort to improve agricultural practices and increase in general agricultural output in Taraba State, the Executive Governor of the state, Dr. Agbu Kefas, has signed a significant memorandum of agreement with the Czech Republic, creating way for the acquisition of 750 Tractors and 100 set of capro compact tractors for small scale farming in Taraba amongst other benefits to support small-scale farmers in the state.
The delivery of the tractors, which will be provided by the Czech Republic, is anticipated to take place within the first 100 days of the governor’s term, exhibiting a proactive efficient strategy for meeting the necessities of local farmers. The acquisition of these tractors is an intentional strategic action to empower farmers and increase their output, ultimately promoting the state’s agricultural development.
Governor Agbu Kefas gave a powerful address at the occasion, noting the importance of harnessing Taraba State’s agricultural potential. He stressed that by making investments in the agricultural industry, local populations can have better livelihoods and lower rates of poverty. A vital step in achieving the state’s goal of food production and socioeconomic growth is the acquisition of these tractors.
Small-scale farmers will have access to cutting-edge farming equipment through the tractors, enabling them to cultivate their farmland more effectively and boost crop production. The Governor’s overriding objective of fostering sustainable opportunities, promoting economic growth, and raising the standard of living for Taraba State’s citizens is in line with this development.
It is important to highlight that Dr. Agbu Kefas’ administration is committed to fostering the growth of agriculture, economic prosperity, and general well-being within the state. The government wants to foster a growth-friendly climate, empower farmers, and advance the country as a whole by putting up strategic projects and establishing international alliances.
The Taraba state government has flagged-off the 2022 wet season input distribution which will kick start the distribution of essential farm inputs to farmers in the 2022 wet season as part of Nigeria’s Covid-19 recovery and economic stimulus programme, under the Fadama Taraba CARES.
The flag-off was done by the Executive Governor, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku, who was ably represented by his Deputy, Engr. Haruna Manu.
He stressed that since farmers have begun farm preparation for the 2022 wet season, the distribution of these inputs is timely, and the agro materials to be provided will go a long way in complementing what the state government has already put in place for this cropping season and that the early distribution of sufficient farm inputs is a top priority for this administration.
“As an administration, we have prioritized agriculture since inception, having realized that the majority of citizens are involved in some form of farming for both subsistence and commercial purposes.
“We are second to none in the production of rice, sesame, tea, cocoa, root crops like yam, cassava, and cocoyam, as well as grains such as maize, sorghum, millet, and assorted fruits, all due to the early delivery of fertilizer, improved seedlings, and the availability of tractors and other agro-allied inputs.
“Taraba state has the potential to produce beyond its present capacity, and this can be optimized through active collaboration between the state and the federal governments and development partners. I am optimistic that, as a result of the significant progress made so far, more will be accomplished in terms of higher agricultural yields in the coming years.
That the provision of these vital inputs is part of a coordinated response to the social and economic hardship caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, funded by a World Bank loan as a two-year emergency response programme for the poor and vulnerable in society.
He encouraged all beneficiaries of the government’s kind gesture to make optimal utilization of the inputs to expand farmland and, consequently, increase output, and by extension, their standard of living and commended the management of the State Fadama programme for their hard work and consistency in increasing not only agricultural production but also the income of farmers’ cooperatives in the state, which is in line with the Rescue Agenda’s primary goal.
“The Community and Social Development Project CSDP, Special Grant Transfer SGT, and Medium and Small Enterprises MSE are all implementing agencies, and the Fadama III project is one of them.”
“These interventions have not only been well received, but they have also provided much-needed assistance to the less privileged.
Engr. Manu also encouraged Fadama Taraba CARES to step up its efforts to increase farmers’ cultivable land capacity through mechanization and the early provision of necessary inputs like the ones being distributed at this ceremony, stressing that the availability of inputs such as tractors, improved seedlings, and herbicides/pesticides, among others, has significantly reduced the farmer’s reliance on the previously back-breaking, labour-intensive farming practice.
He reassured farmers on government’s will to continue to look out for their best interests when it comes to inputs and markets for their produce, stressing that government is aware of the associated losses and waste that farmers face due to inefficient harvesting and storage methods, which Fadama and other implementing agencies will need to address more aggressively.
Partners were assured of greater collaboration, particularly in counterpart fund commitment and recognition of the state’s enormous achievements to date, which have been attained through such synergies that have transformed Taraba into the country’s top food producer.
In his efforts to achieve an accelerated agricultural development to boost the economy of Taraba state, the administration of Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku has collaborated with Fevick Resources to transform rice production in Donga LGA of the state.
The general framework of this market-driven project is geared towards the empowerment of Agripreneurs, particularly women and youths through mechanized rice production system, which provides the best growing conditions to include high yielding variety of seeds, fertilizers, good agricultural production, timely cultivation, efficient harvesting and dry season irrigation potential.
To achieve this project success, Fevick Resources partnered with St. Abda Limited, an agricultural consortium which provides project advisory, development and management services for agricultural transformation in Nigeria.
The farmer’s field day was organized to showcase the performance of all the varieties planted and its efficacy to withstand submergence flood in prone areas and the increased yield per hectare production.
After the field tour assessment of the varieties on display, the representatives of the Taraba state Ministry of Agriculture and Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Sale Pavali commended Fevick Resources and the various farmers groups for their efforts to achieve the ready to be harvested crop yield output.
“The Governor of the state promised to make us millionaires. This is how he will do it. He sent the organization to educate us in upland and lowland best practices in rice farming.”
“Today, the organization came with varieties of high yielding rice that will match the speed of soil texture and improve yields per hectare. The organization also came with other quality inputs such as chemicals that will help eliminate weeds and insects. Research revealed that Nigeria has the capacity to produce over eight million tons of rice per season, but as speak, Nigeria only provides four.
There are potentials in farming, therefore we should utilize the opportunity given to us by the government” he said.
Mr. Pavali added that the government is not limiting the project to only rice production, but wheat production is included and other varieties of crops too.
“We need to be committed to the project by remitting quantities of output in commensurate with the input given to us to enable the organization upscale their activities to dry season irrigation farming.
He also thanked the Gara of Donga, His Royal Highness, Dr. Sanvala for his support for the project by creating awareness among the people of Donga.
Mr. Samuel Adeshina (the Project Coordinator) thanked everyone for honoring the organization’s invitation. He appreciated the people of Donga for their spirit of hospitality. Afterwards, he expressed gratitude for the good output on the field and said, “If you don’t farm, the nation’s food security is at stake. From what I see here, I am happy that we are making progress. Agriculture has to be treated as business. We are aiming at building agriculture in Nigeria therefore; we can make millions out of agriculture.
“The project is also aimed at enhancing sustainable rural agriculture development to enhance community self-sufficiency and enjoy good livelihood wellbeing. A lot has been done and the output will be measured by scaling up to encourage the next phase of farming.”
“The project made provision for insurance in the event of natural disasters and also allows accessibility to finance, credit facilities and inputs. I must commend you for your commitment and want you to be more committed to the project and utilize the opportunities therein”.
The representatives of His Royal Highness, the Gara of Donga, Mr. Binuga Gargea thanked the government of Taraba state and Fevick Resources for the great opportunity to experience improved farm output.
“In recent years, we do have problems in planting and identification of soil texture and also to know the right variety to use. The coming of this organization has helped us a lot by exposing us to better ways of rice farming and the result is impressive. Farming is our occupation in Donga and educating us on a better way of farming is a great achievement to us. The government of Taraba state and Fevick Resource should know that we will be committed to this project and make good use of it” he said.
Beneficiaries of the project at the event through their representatives also expressed gratitude to the Taraba state government for the support. They also thanked Fevick Resources for all the trainings, access to finance; input provision and all that was needed to improve their farm yield in rice farming.
Some called for the provision of tractors for easy farming, while others called for the establishment of Fevick Resources office in Donga. A beneficiary identified some species of weeds that defied all chemical effects and called on the government to provide chemicals that will eliminate them on farmlands.
They pledged to be committed to the project and promised not to disappoint the efforts of the government.
According to a retiree, who is also a beneficiary of the project, “I never thought of going back to farm following the difficulties I had trying. But today, I have joined many in rice farming through the Taraba State Transformational Rice Farming Project”. Hon Jibra JP, who is the Chairman of Chairmen to farmer groups in his remark, urged all beneficiaries to ensure that they meet up with standard of scaling up of outputs from farms to the warehouse.
Another beneficiary said that the coming of this project has awakened them from sleep and that they will make rice farming their business.
In his closing remarks, the Project Manager Mr. Femi Afolabi reiterated that the warehouse is open for scaling up of outputs and that all beneficiaries should visit the warehouse for the process. He also assured farmers that those with good records will be compensated.
Taraba State Governor, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku has assured that his administration remains resolute in its determination to reposition agriculture as the bedrock of the state’s economy.
Ishaku who spoke in Government House, Jalingo, on Friday during the inauguration of the Governing Council of the College of Agriculture and the swearing in ceremony of the chairman and members of the State Independent Electoral Commission, SIEC, said inspite of the challenges posed by insecurity and communal crises in the state, his administration has made significant progress in repositioning agriculture as a lucrative enterprise.
He said many people in the state were now into farming business on various scales and levels as a result of which Taraba State has joined the league of major producers of rice, maize, beniseed, soya beans and cassava, among others.
He said his government’s efforts in promoting agriculture has resulted in a situation whereby Taraba State is now contributing substantially to the food needs of the country.
The Governor said the ultimate goal of the state is to produce enough rice to meet the needs of the country and save the country the huge expenditure on importation.
He assured that his administration will assist farmers to secure financial assistance from local and international financial institutions to boost food production.
Governor Ishaku urged the Governing Council of the College of Agriculture to key into this policy of government for quicker results and advised the Council of the institution to come up with innovative ideas that can help farmers become more productive.
The Governing Council of the institution is headed by Dr Muhammed Shatta, a former minister.
Turning to the board of SIEC, Governor Ishaku praised the organisation for consistently asserting its independence and for conducting elections that were free, fair and credible.
He urged the commission to remain focused and should not be distracted by false accusations.
The board of SIEC is headed by Dr Phillip Duwe who also spoke on behalf of the two boards that were inaugurated.
Dr Duwe praised the Governor for always being meticulous in the choice of those who work with him and advised him not to listen to gossips.
He said that those of them honoured with these appointments would not disappoint the Governor “because we know that with every responsibility given, there are expectations.”
– By Bala Dan Abu,
Special Adviser to the Governor.
(Media and Publicity)