Minister of State for Agriculture, Dr. Bukar Tijani, has said that the federal government would next year distribute over 10 million phone handsets to women farmers, even as it plans to cultivate rice, maize and millet in the areas devastated by flood.
The idea for the distribution, he said, was to curb rampant cases of corruption in the distribution of fertilizer as well as facilitate easy communication among farmers.
The minister however disclosed that the federal government would utilize the flood-ravaged areas to cultivate rice, maize and millet to ensure that the area was not wasted, while government would guarantee food security in the country.
He disclosed this yesterday at the annual conference organized by Agricultural Society of Nigeria (ASN), tagged ‘Kano 2012 ‘Agricultural Transformation In a Deregulated, Prospects and Challenges,’ held at the Bayero University Kano
According to him, the federal government was determined to build food production as well as ensure food security in the country, hence the need for the government to now restructure all necessary ways to encourage farmers to put more effort in food production.
Also speaking at the occasion, the state governor, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, said agriculture had remained an important sector of the Nigerian economy but that it had remained largely neglected with heavy over dependence on oil.
He said: “I believe this is an opportunity for you to brainstorm and see how best you can all contribute towards making new improvement in agricultural inputs, and positioning of agriculture as a veritable business venture and not just a development programme.”
He said it was timely to have such an all important gathering of professionals in agriculture, particularly as “Kano state is an agricultural state endowed with both human and natural resources, blessed with 17 large water dams used for irrigation and other purposes.
He said as professionals, “I urge you to freely discuss , brainstorm and recommend strategies that will eventually benefit our nation in terms of job creation, poverty reduction and self sufficiency in food production”.