By Ahmed Abba
Yobe government says it has spent N2.5 billion from 2019 to date to boost agricultural production in the state.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr Mairo Amshi, made this known at the ongoing ministerial briefing, organised by Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Damaturu on Tuesday.
Amshi, represented by Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Ahmed JeJe, said that the present administration decided to revitalise agricultural sector to improve the economy of the state and provide food for its teeming population.
He explained that the activities carried out by the ministry in the last two years included logistics for cattle route demarcation from Damaturu to Magdza, Damaturu to Babban Gida, at the cost of N9.9 million.
The commissioner added that N46.5 million was expended on settlement of retention for the construction of gravity irrigation scheme in Nguru Local Government and procurement 7,500 metric tons of fertiliser at the sum of N1.4 billion.
Other expenditure, she said, were N19.9 million as 30 per cent payment for reconstruction of collapsed earth dyke at Mugura Irrigation Scheme and N39 million as compensations for farmland, resettlement of Fulani hamlets and operation of heavy duty machines at Lava irrigation scheme.
Amshi noted that agriculture was the mainstay of the state’s economy, with over 80 per cent of the population deriving their livelihood from related activities.
She lamented that the state had more than 75 per cent of its land as arable, adding, however, that less than 40 per cent of the land were being cultivated, in spite of the population and level of unemployment in the state.
“Majority of the people are small-scale farmers, with capacity to cultivate less than two hectares of land, which is primarily to meet subsistence needs,” she said. (NAN)