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FG urge states to devise Policies for Economy Recovery Around Agriculture


FG urge states to devise Policies for Economy Recovery Around Agriculture

Sule Barwa, Jalingo

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The federal government has advised the 36 states of the federation to use agriculture as a leverage for the revival of the nation’s economy post-COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba gave the advice during a Community of Practice, COP, meeting, for all states Commissioners for budget and economic planning in Jalingo, the capital city of Taraba state.

Speaking of the theme, ‘Beyond Oil: Optimizing agro-value chain for economic prosperity at the national and subnational levels’, the Minister said the dwindling oil price has grossly affected the nation’s earnings and demands an urgency to develop other non-oil revenue initiatives to sustain the country’s economy.

Agba explained that the zero-oil economy plan which is being developed would unlock the potentials of each state in the development and promotion of at least one crop for export.

According to him, “the agricultural sector has greater potential to address the nation’s problems of unemployment, acute poverty, and hunger, hence, the reason why the Federal Government has committed many resources to revamp the sector.
He informed that the Zero-Oil Economy Plan when finalized would be adopted as a national Agenda to further diversify Nigeria’s export away from crude oil.

“The plan amongst others is to add at least US$150 Billion to the country’s foreign reserves cumulatively from non-oil exports over the next ten years; 
Create at least 500,000 additional export linked jobs annually due principally to increase in productive export activities; lift at least ten million Nigerians out of poverty and empower each State and its people by integrating them into the export value chain.” said Agba.

Earlier, Governor Darius Ishaku informed the forum that Taraba has since given priority to agriculture and animal husbandry, and was ready to welcome partnerships from development partners and other states to increase its value chain.

Represented by his Deputy, Haruna Manu, Ishaku said the agricultural sector if properly harnessed, has the capacity to employ millions of youths across the country.

In a remark, Taraba state commissioner for budget and planning, Solomon Elisha urged the forum to share knowledge on the thematic area, to ensure the realization of the economic and social development the nation desires.

In a goodwill message, Taraba state Commissioner for Information and Reorientation, Barr. Danjuma Adamu told the forum that Taraba is blessed with abundant and fertile agricultural lands suitable for the cultivation of a variety of crops. 

They include yam, cassava, rice, maize and fruit crops, adding that ts many rivers also contain different species of fish, making it truly a leading agricultural state. 

“Its vast mineral resources are added spur for development. As an agrarian state, agriculture is and continue to play a vital role in the economy of the state.

It is in recognition of this role that over the years especially since the advent of this present Government under the leadership of Arc. Darius Ishaku, a number of measures have been put in place to increase output, thus boosting incomes of farmers and revenue for Government. 

“Some of these measures include the timely purchase and distribution of farm inputs such as fertilizers, tractors and chemicals among others”. Adamu revealed.

According to the information Commissioner, these measures are bearing fruits and food outputs are up especially as more people are taking up farming, including the youth. 

He further stressed that youth participation in farming will not only lead to a substantive increase in agricultural output but also check high level of unemployment and social vices among the segment of the population in the state.

“As Government continues to actively support this vital sector of the economy, Taraba State is surely and steadily on the path of becoming an agricultural success story, lifting more and more of its citizens out of poverty and into prosperity and generally delivering the much-needed development in the State.

“Taraba State equally ranks one of the pace-setters in the area of tourism, some of the outstanding tourist attractions include the Mambilla Plateau which has a beautiful landscape of valleys and waterfalls. 

“The Plateau stands at over 1, 830 metres above sea level, making it the highest peak in Nigeria. It temperate climate makes it a suitable place for tourists around the world, especially those from Europe and North America.

With its lush green vegetation, it is conducive for animal rearing, especially cattle, and suitable for cultivation of crops such as tea, peer and other tree crops. 

The state also has many waterfalls, which are sites for tourists, the most famous is the Bar up waterfalls.

The Gashaka/Gumti National Park is another landmark in the area of tourism in Taraba State. Its unique position is underlined by the indisputable fact that it is not only the largest of all the eight National Parks in the country but also the most diverse in terms of species in the whole of West Africa, harbouring rare animals like the Columbus monkey and warthogs.

Worthy of mention are other famous tourist attractions in the State. They include the Marmara pond of Wukari, headquarters of Wukari local government area and the Bitako Hills located in Zing local government area”.

However, in the area of minerals, Barr. Danjuma Adamu maintained that Taraba is also blessed with some much sought after minerals such as gold, zinc, gemstones, uranium, bauxite, barites and hydrocarbons among others

FG urge states to devise Policies for Economy Recovery Around Agriculture.

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