By Stanley Onyekwere
To ensure rapid agricultural growth and sustained socio-economic development, Niger state government says it has created a favourable environment for profitable investments by private sector in all aspects of the agricultural value chain in the state.
In particular, the government urged serious minded agricultural entrepreneurs and investors willing to invest in the state to do s, as the state’s doors remain open to accommodate such investments for mutual benefits.
Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, made this assertion yesterday while delivering an address at the Niger Day, held on the sidelines of the 10th National Agric Show, in Karu, Nasarawa State.
Bello, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Ibrahim Ladan, revealed that the state is focusing on reforming her agricultural sector, with a view to achieving self-sufficient in food production and employment generations for her teeming youth, so as to achieve Sustainable development of the state.
He added that the government has given due emphasis on the provision of basic farm inputs to farmers; development of basic rural infrastructure to facilitate production activities by teeming population of small farmers in the state.
According to him, the administration is leveraging on the state’s comparative advantages of abundant arable land, water and human resources to achieve the objective.
“Our administration is ready and prepared to cooperate with the federal government in the implementation of the agricultural reform Agenda for sustainable development of the country.
“We are also conscious of the fact that this cannot be achieved without the much desired partnership with the private sector.
“At the moment, the state has signed memorandum of understanding with the Sanford Group worth 450 million US Dollars for sugarcane and rice production.
“Other investors like Golden Flour, Agorcraft, PJS groups to mention a few are already in the state investing in various integrated agricultural projects while negotiations are ongoing with several others in the same direction,” he stressed.
Earlier in his welcome address, permanent secretary Niger State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Yusuf Barau Kagara, described the Agric Show as a rallying point for farmers and other stakeholders to convene, interact and exchange ideas on how to move the agricultural sector forward.