By Justina Auta
The Federal Government says it will distribute hybrid rice and potatoes to farmers in Kagarko and Jere local government areas of Kaduna State.
Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, Minister, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, communicated this at a meeting with traditional leaders of Koro, Hausa and Fulani ethnic nationalities from the local government areas in Abuja.
She said that the distribution of the hybrid rice and potatoes was a strategy to curb incessant farmers and herders crisis.
Kennedy-Ohanenye said the initiative would empower farmers and herders economically and promote peaceful coexistence between different ethnic groups and religions.
She added that it would help in addressing the conflict currently going on in the area.
“`So, I called my brothers today because they have been fighting for over 20 years over cattle and farming.
“Now, we have decided as a body that we are one family; it takes a little thing to bring this peace.
“I have the high yield rice; if the ordinary rice produces 100 bags, high yield produces 140 bags.
“All I needed to do is to bring them together to plant this rice on 100 hectares that will give them N100 million.
“I have already gotten buyers to buy the rice from them; then I give them the processing machine.”
According to her, the efforts are part of President Bola Tinubu’s renewed Hope Agenda to bring peace, food, making people happy, unity and development in the country.
“So, we are starting with the high yield rice and they will start with 100 hectares of land to make N100 million.
“I will provide them with a rice processing machine that produces 10 bags of rice per hour and it de-chaffs, de-stones, boils and cleans the rice.
“And I will equally provide them with bagging with the stamp of Women Affairs, which will be sold cheaper than what is sold in the market.
“What we want to do is bring peace and feed the nation so that things will be cheap, affordable to the poor.
“We are starting with 100 hectares of rice, another 10 hectares for hybrid potato planting,’’ she said.
The minister said strategies were also in place to ensure the 35 per cent affirmative action for women in employment processes were adhered to.
In his remarks, Abdullahi Aliyu, Leader of the Fulani delegation, expressed appreciation to the government for its support to the people.
Aliyu reassured the government that the initiative would be successful, as the people would unite towards ensuring peaceful coexistence and economic development of the area.
Also, Alhaji Abdullahi Daniya, Emir of Jere, represented by Abdulkarim Sulaiman, Yerima Jere, who spoke on behalf of the Hausa community, emphasised the need for peaceful coexistence in the community.
“We found it very difficult in a very long time to have this kind of peace agreement.
“ But today, you have come to take all the violence and we thank you for your intervention,” he said.
On his part, Musa Barnabas, youth Leader, Koro axis, Kagarko LGA, recalled that growing up in the area, the Hausa, Fulani and Koro people were united, not until lately, when they started having crises.
Barnabas added that engaging the youths in agriculture would further restore peace, unity and economic development for the people and Nigeria by extension.
“We are ready to support and we assure you that the youths have been yearning for such interventions and we will support it,” he said. (NAN)
Edited by Dorcas Jonah and Chijioke Okoronkwo