President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigerian farmers stand to reap the benefits of his administration’s reforms as he continues to accord the highest priority to agriculture.
At a meeting with Katsina State Elders Forum at the State House in Abuja on Thursday, the President said his administration would continue to take steps to enhance output and productivity by ensuring the availability of cheap agricultural credits, farm inputs, fertilizer and the introduction of latest technologies.
President Buhari said the choice of practising farmers as ministers in charge of agriculture, first Chief Audu Ogbe and now, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, was a reflection of his strong wish to protect the interest of farmers and the attainment of national food self-sufficiency.
He agreed to look into the request of the Katsina Elders for the expansion of existing irrigation schemes at Zobe and Sabke dams to enhance employment and profitability in agriculture.
A situation in which 60 per cent of Katsina State is productive in rain-fed agriculture for three to four months, and idle for the rest of the year was unacceptable, the President said.
He told the meeting that he had charged ministers of agriculture to work with states to re-discover lost animal grazing routes and reserves as a means to ending the frequent outbreak of violence between farmers and herders.
President Buhari also broached the issue of armed banditry and kidnapping that had bedevilled Katsina and other northwestern states, and gave assurances that the situation would be overcome in the same way the farmer-herders attacks were subdued.
Leader of the delegation, Alhaji Aliyu Balarabe Saulawa, representing the Chairman, Alhaji Ahmadu Kurfi, commended the President for returning peace to most parts of the state.