Gov. Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa on Sunday said the Islamic Development Bank has concluded plans to invest about $35 million to promote agriculture in the state.
Mr. Abubakar made the disclosure at Kwalge Dam in Auyo Local Government during the Hadejia Zonal Fishing Festival.
He said the investment would largely be in the area of accelerated crop production across the state.
The governor said the investment would enhance agricultural financing, mechanisation, processing and enterprise.
He disclosed that the government was collaborating with the World Bank and African Development Bank, to clear typha grass on Hadejia River, which had inhibited fishing and effective utilisation of the water for consumption and irrigation.
According to him, the state government with support from the Federal Government and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had initiated Anchor Borrower Scheme to support farmers transform agriculture and attain food sufficiency.
The governor noted that the programme was designed to support rural farmers, build their capacity, increase crop production, encourage modern processing and add value to the produce.
Mr. Abubakar reiterated the government’s commitment to reduce poverty, provide job opportunities and enhance wealth through effective utilisation of agricultural resources.
Also commenting, Kabir Ali, the Commissioner for Agriculture, said the fishing festival was re-introduced to encourage fishery development in the state.
Mr. Ali said the state government had expended about N4 million to support fishery development programmes, adding that similar fishing festivals would be held in Birnin-Kudu and Kirikasamma Local Government Areas.
“The fishing festival is to motivate fishermen and encourage production,” he added.
Mr. Ali disclosed that the state government had stocked about 150, 000 fingerlings at Warwade Dam in Dutse Local Government, to enhance fish production.
The commissioner, therefore, called on farmers to support government policies and programmes to reinvigorate agriculture and make it the mainstay of the state’s economy.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 36, 250 farmers groups were registered under the Anchor Borrower programme in the state.
The state government had also spent about N439 million on the programme and distributed fertilisers, seeds, chemicals and equipment to rice and wheat farmers, to raise their production output.