Irrigation farmers in Yobe say the state can provide at least 40 per cent of Nigeria’s food needs, if the partnership between the Yobe government and MardiCorp, a Malaysian firm, is properly executed.
They also indicated their interest to partner with the state government in the project, especially in its special irrigation scheme.
The farmers’ spokesman, Alhaji Modu Gashua told newsmen in Gashua on Friday that the partnership would significantly boost food production and economic growth.
AbduKareem Usman, another irrigation farmer, said that Yobe had the capacity to make a 40-per-cent contribution to the nation’s food stock.
“This partnership will provide more opportunities to improve food production; there is no doubt that this state can contribute 40 per cent of Nigeria’s food requirements.
“This initiative is a welcome development, as it will boost the country’s agricultural growth and development,” Usman said.
Musa Katuzu, a wheat farmer, said that the partnership would particularly boost wheat and rice production.
“Government’s investment in this regard is a huge; the partnership is a welcome development,” he added.
In a statement, Abdullahi Bego, the Director-General (Media and Publicity) to Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam, said that partnership with the Malaysian company would also focus on the Special Irrigation Scheme at Nguru Lake, Boloram, Mugura and Garin Gada.
He said that Gaidam was in Malaysia to explore the partnership and engage the services of MardiCorp in training of extension workers and irrigation farmers.
“This is why we are tapping from the company’s long years of experience and expertise across many countries so that our irrigation schemes would be more successful” Bego quoted the governor as saying.
He said that the Special Irrigation Scheme, which would cover over 600 hectares of farmlands, was initiated to enhance food production in the state.
He said that MardiCorp was also expected to undertake research on the “under-exploited crops” in Yobe, which include the doum palm (Goruba).