Niger State government is to engage no fewer than 10,000 youths in government assisted mechanised farming in this fiscal year to reduce unemployment and increase agricultural out put in the state.
The state Commissioner of Economic Planning, Hon. Idris Seidu Ndakwo stated this yesterday while giving a breakdown of the state budget’s policy thrust at Government House, Minna.
The Commissioner said in a joint press conference with the commissioner of finance, Alh. Muhammed Bawa Mua’zu, that 6,000 hectares of land had already been acquired by the State government for the youth mass agricultural programme.
He said that 100 new tractors would be purchased to enhance agricultural production in the state, while emphasis would also be placed on both crop and livestock production.
The commissioner said that the agriculture sub-sector would be the pivot of the economic sector which has a budget of N11.3 billion representing 30 percent of the entire capital expenditure.
The commissioner stated that the decision of the government to acquire 6,000 hectares of land was borne out of the need and desire to arose the interest of the youth in agriculture which could form the main stay of the economy.
Similarly he said the state would be spending N25billion for salaries and emolument of civil and public servants of the State in the fiscal year while N15 billion would be used as over head cost including N6.5billion consolidated fund charges.