The Executive Governor, Arch. Darius Dickson Ishaku has flagged off the distribution of seeds by the National Food Security Council Emergency Agricultural Intervention in the state.
The Governor in his remarks said this will go a long way in easing the stress on the victims affected by the crisis.
He said the turn out is impressive and stressed that it is because of the biometric capture of the over 2000 affected people. He said they will be giving the same bags of fertilizers and agro chemicals.
Governor Ishaku said the push for agriculture in his administration has produced a bumper harvest and will strive to consolidate on it and pointed out that he is aware that the driving force of any society is the youths and promised to use his second tenure to empower the youths.
The Governor warned the beneficiaries not to involve themselves in collecting these products and selling them out because he won’t spare anyone found in the act.
He further instructed the security agencies to arrest and prosecute anyone found guilty of the act.
Gov. Ishaku thanked the Federal Government for this gesture and assures them of his esteem regards.
Speaking, the Director General NEMA Maj. JO Aina said this distribution is to assist the communities affected by the crisis with the aim at re-stabilising the affected areas rather than continually giving them food.
He thanked the Governor and the state government for their continued support and assistance since they arrived the state.
The event which took place at the premises of the Taraba State Transportation Company (TSTC) Jalingo had the company of the Deputy Governor, Engr. Haruna Manu; the SSG Hon. Anthony Jellason; the Chief of Staff Rt. Hon. Istifanus Gbana and other top government functionaries.
Governor Darius Ishaku has flagged-off the European Union Support for Nutrition and Resilience Project in Taraba.
While welcoming the EU ambassador, Mr. Ketil Karlsen and his team to the State, the Governor disclosed that the impact of the European Union’s support to Taraba is a sign that the State is making progress in the agricultural sector and added that it would have a direct bearing on the farmers and their families.
Governor Ishaku revealed that the Government would not rest on its oars in ensuring the goals of the European Union’s investment is strictly adhered to for most profit.
“This Prosell Project is a welcomed development for us in Taraba and I urge our farmers to seize this opportunity to increase their productivity base through the high yielding seedling that will be distributed to the designated areas earmarked for the take off as the much anticipated opportunity to sell your products through a coordinated channel is ready and available”.
He maintained that the gesture of the EU will further enhance cooperation between the State and the agency in economic growth, food security and environmental development.
The European Union ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ketil Karl
sen represented by the Head of Health Nutrition and Resilience section, Mrs. Montserrat Pantaleoni Giralt noted that the Union was attracted to Taraba having monitored the massive investment of the Government in the agricultural sector.
This she said was followed by deploying an assessment team to the State for proper evaluation of areas earmarked for the pilot scheme.
“The European Union through the OXFAM agency has been able to cover a lot of ground in ensuring food security and profit to farmers from large scale sales. The 10 million Euros set aside for the first phase of the project is available and the other 10 million will come in the long run”.
The project, according to the Union’s country program director Mr. Temitayo Omole, is targeting about fifty percent of women and thirty percent of the youths as they make up the most important group who will be engaged in the pilot scheme.
He revealed that the project would also train about sixty thousand, five hundred extension workers for easy access to the farmers.
The Commissioner of Agriculture, Dr. David Ishaya who is the convener of the project earlier expressed huge optimism in the project and affirmed that the Government would make sure the farmers get the best possible result from the support of the European Union to boost agricultural growth and increase their output from the quality seeds they would be receiving.
Dr. Ishaya commended the Governor for the investment the agricultural sector has enjoyed so far.
Taraba State Government said it is set to assist more local rice farmers to produce enough rice to feed the nation and check huge import bills on rice into the country.
Governor Darius Ishaku who disclosed this on Sunday at the thanksgiving church service to mark the 80th birthday celebration of the Chief of Donga, Dr. Stephen Bayonga said the State Government has so far assisted 17,000 rice farmers in the past two years.
“We held a meeting with the Federal Government over the high import bills on rice and we all agreed to work hard to stop the importation of rice into the country.
“Taraba alone can feed the nation with rice and cut the N800bn being spent yearly on rice import. So, I want to call on the people of the State to return to farming.
“On our part, we are poised to assist more rice farmers to produce enough rice to feed the nation, boost economy and check poverty,” he said.
The governor congratulated the Gara of Donga for clocking 80 years and prayed God to grant him good health and wisdom to rule.
In his remarks, the celebrant, The Gara of Donga, Dr. Stephen Bayonga thanked God for sparing his life to see his 80th birthday and appreciated the people who turned out to celebrate with him.
Bayonga called on the Governor to consider the construction of the Donga – Mararaba road to ease movement of people and for economic growth of the area.
Resident Pastor of CRC-N Donga, Rev. Enoch Aboki in his sermon enjoined the people to always appreciate God and never forget the good things God has done in their lives.
Rev. Aboki called on the Governor to deal with the security situation in the area especially in kidnapping and armed robbery.