THE Borno State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mohammed Dili said that since 2012 till date, the State Government had procured farm mechanization equipment worth over N40 billion for agriculture development in the state.
Speaking recently with the journalist recently in the state, Dili said that the major constraint for the deployment of the farm machines is the continued attacks from Boko Haram terrorist group.
During a tour of some on the machines, Dili said “these equipment are some of the procurement that this administration made from 2012 till date, in his quest to remove drudgery in agriculture to attract the youths, the Governor decided to invest more on agriculture mechanization.
“We have Planters, Fertilizer Sprayers, Potato and Groundnut Harvesters, which are not common in this country.
“In 2013, we experimented the cultivation of Irish Potatoes in Maiduguri, it was very successful, that is why we decided to procure these machines.
“There are other planting machines for Sesame seeds, Borno is the home of Sesame seeds, most of the Sesame that is being exported from Nigeria were sourced from this state.
“It is a complete value chain we have 18 factories, it is a package which is more than N40 billion, we also have rice mills and tomato factory, we have 600 rice mill is of different sizes, both the ones constructed by individuals and the one constructed by communities”.
Explaining further, the Agriculture Commissioner said “we have 1600 Planters which can plant Maize, groundnut, rice and wheat. We have more than 1000, tractors, the essence of these tractors is to give to our communities, we are just waiting for peace to return, we have created a way of getting these things to our farmers, we have made it possible for us now.
“We have created cooperatively societies all over, people in this state are specialized in various types of crops like the Northern part is specialized in groundnut production, the southern part is specialized in yam and Maize production, we procured these machines for specialized crops.
“We have the combined Harvesters, of the 100 combined Harvesters in this country, we have 50 of them in Borno, and this was meant for the Chad Basin area where we have 7000 hectares of land for wheat and rice production, and unfortunately, that is the area that is occupied by Boko Haram, it is still not very peaceful for us to go into production in that area, we start in 2012, it was very successful, we planted, after about 3 day when we left there, Boko Haram invaded the place, destroyed everything, burnt the farm and killed some of our people with more than 80 tractors there, but we are ready for it, anytime there is peace there.
“The value chain will not be complete without the processors, like you see now, we have the groundnut planter, first of all, we have the tractor, it cultivates and harrow the land, we have the planter to plant it, we have the fertilizer sprayers, we have the harvesters and we have the decorticating machines and we have the oil mills for oil extractions, and this is the complete value chain.
“We have the one of the largest poultry investment too, we intend to use the groundnut cake and the soybean we are going to produce for the purpose of poultry feeding. We have 360,000 capacity Hatchery here in the state, this is the essence of having the value chain”.
On how the people can benefit from the mechanization, Dili said “we led our people into cooperative societies, we give you tractors, Planters, they come in a size of 20 to 25 persons, then we also give them the processing machines, at the end of the day, the cooperative federation will purchase the products and by-products from the cooperative societies.
“In every Ward, there should be a minimum of 20 cooperative societies of 20 people and all the cooperatives in all the Wards in a local government will come together and form Cooperative Union, and all the Cooperative unions in the 27 local government in Borno state will come together and form Cooperative Federation.
“We have so far procured 10,000 family units of irrigation equipment, this is an area where there is scanty rainfall, an area where we can do dry season farming, in the other area where we can farm in rainy season, we have also provided other equipment for them, beside this equipment, we have sprinted irrigation equipment and other types of irrigation pieces of equipment, these are going to be given to communities”.
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