by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The Plateau state governor, Simon Bako Lalong, has advocated for more funding and incentives for small-holder farmers, who are the mainstay of Nigeria’s agricultural sustainability programme.
The governor disclosed this, while addressing the NEPAD Summit and technical roundtable discussion on strengthening small-holder farmer capabilities in the COVID-19 era at the Sheraton Hotel Abuja.
These farmers, he said, need every support to build their capacity to embrace modern farming practices, harvest, store and add value to their produce as well as access better marketing channels for better earnings.
While commending NEPAD for the initiative, which he said was in tandem with the priority of his administration, which is anchored on using areas of comparative advantage for sustainable economic rebirth.
He welcomed NEPAD’s initiative in Plateau state and asked them to take advantage of the Agriculture Microfinance Bank, which is the first of its kind in Nigeria.
“We hope you can easily connect and assist our farmers through this avenue and many others, which we have been using to equip them with the relevant knowledge and skills,” he said.
He also said the agricultural institutions in the state, available land, manpower and its peculiar weather for production of exotic crops makes it a natural destination for programmes such as this.
The governor assured that, Plateau women will be carried along in the programme, as most of them are hardworking and have also been trained by various agencies to take advantage of opportunities in agriculture.
The event was attended by Governors of Kebbi, Kwara, Niger as well as Deputy Governors of Adamawa and Nasarawa states.