by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
Plateau State Government has urged farmers in the State to take interest in flower production, it says is economically viable and in demand at the international market.
Speaking on Thursday, when the State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong, met with French investors in Jos after their two-day visit to the State, the governor said his administration is determined to return the State to the export of flowers, which was popular in the 70s and 80s.
He said, already, some farmers in the State are making progress in the cultivation of flowers and attracting demands from within and outside the country. He said this has reinforced the resolve of the Government to encourage and support interested farmers to go into the flower production.
The governor expressed delight that, with the designation of the Yakubu Gowon Airport as a Cargo Airport, the export of flowers will be seamless. This he said will be complemented by the Inland Container Terminal, which is being activated.
Speaking earlier, leader of the French team, Yan Fortunato, said after their visit – which took them to six Local Government Areas of the State – they were convinced by the enormous potentials of the State in agriculture, which need to be developed through mechanization and improved practices.
He said the team, which was visiting Nigeria on behalf of some business partners in France, has identified areas such as potato production and value chain development, flower production and export, cashew production and processing as well as forest development.
The team promised to convey their findings to their partners and return within a short time to continue the process of partnership with the State in establishing their businesses.
Plateau State Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Hosea Finangwai, said the State already has a structure for agric business and partnerships, particularly on areas such as potato production that is currently being supported by the African Development Bank.