Sunday 22nd October, 2017
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Agricultural policy underway in Plateau - Commissioner

Agricultural policy underway in Plateau - Commissioner

The Plateau State Gov­ernment says it will soon come up with a policy that will guide and promote agricultural activi­ties in the state.

This was disclosed by the State’s Commission­er for Agriculture and Ru­ral Development, Mrs Lin­da Barau, when the National President, Nigerian Associ­ation of Women in Agricul­ture (NAWIA), Mrs Ngizan Chahul visited her in Jos.

Barau said Governor Si­mon Lalong was commit­ted to boosting agriculture to ensure adequate food pro­duction in the state.

She maintained that the state government would leave no stone unturned by providing the necessary sup­port for the sector to thrive.

The Commissioner said that the state government re­cently held the maiden edi­tion of its agricultural sum­mit held in April as part of efforts to design the policy.

“Because we want to make Plateau the hub of food pro­duction in Nigeria, coupled with the passion our gover­nor has for agriculture, the need to have a good policy has become imperative.

“We are planning to hold a post-harvest summit, af­ter which there will be stake­holders’ forum where a poli­cy for the agricultural sector in the state will be designed.

“We shall forward the draft copy of the policy to the state House of Assem­bly for consideration and onward passage into law,’’ she said.

Barau said the state gov­ernment had allocated N5.4 billion for the agriculture sector in its 2017 budget, and would ensure that the fund was adequately utilised.

She assured that the funds would be promptly released to ensure that all agriculture-related programmes were implemented in full.

Earlier, Mrs Chahul said the advocacy visit was to urge the government to put in place an agriculture policy and increase budgetary allo­cation to the sector.

She said the association wanted the government to adopt a marketing strategy that would encourage farm­ers to produce beyond sub­sistence level.

“When there is value ad­dition, with a reliable mar­ket it will kill the activities of middle men, people will see agriculture as a business and will venture into it with­out hesitation.

“When there is an agri­cultural policy on ground, it will attract investors be­cause they will have some­thing that will guide and stimulate them to invest in the state,’’ she said.

She commended the Pla­teau State Government for supporting its farmers with farm inputs and other farm­ing implement, and urged it to do more to make farming a viable venture.

Chahul was accompanied by other national officials of the association.