By Ginika Okoye
Gov. Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa says state governments are working in close collaboration with the Federal Government to establish pesticides producing factories in the country.
Speaking to newsmen in Dutse on Saturday, Abubakar stated that the collaboration is aimed at reducing the cost of crop production.
He stated that other state governments are working closely with the Federal Government to develop plans for the establishment of farm implement manufacturing and assembly plants in the country.
Abubakar stated that the aim is to assist farmers boost production and reduce cost of agricultural production.
“We are working with the Federal Government on best ways to create companies that will produce pesticides and herbicides so that they can be produced locally so that the price will reduce.
“The same thing applies to equipment mechanisation. We want to see how best we can partner so we can produce the farm equipment locally,’’.
He said the state government had invested N5 billion in its agricultural revolution within the past two years.
Abubakar said the investment went into agricultural loans to farmers, provision of farm inputs, support and empowerment to women and youths in agriculture with agro-processing and mechanical implements.
Others are training of youths and extension workers on pests control as well as farm input maintenance.
On wheat production in the state, the governor said the state produced 100,000 tonnes of wheat during the last farming season.
According to him, the state cultivated 40,000 hectares of wheat with the expectation of an average yield of 2.5 tonnes per hectare.
Abubakar noted the state was working on improved wheat varieties to increase production in the state.
He said the state also produced about 2 million metric tonnes of rice for the 2016/2017 dry and wet season farming.
“I believe the world average on rice is around 7.5 to eight tonnes per hectare which I am sure in the next one or two years, we will be able to reach that average.
“Today in Jigawa State, we are not looking at what other states are doing on rice production, we are looking at what China, Thailand, Brazil are doing.
“We know that some varieties in China and Brazil are doing 12 to13 tonnes per hectare so that is the competition.
“We will continue to support our farmers with research and development and quality seeds,’’ he said.
The governor advised various states to take advantage of the opportunities inherent in the production of crops i which they had comparative advantage as the days of over-dependence on oil was over.