By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Federal Government has hailed the initiative by a firm, Kare Hi-Tech Engineering Limited, to provide agricultural solutions in the North East region of the country.
The commendation was made by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammed Nanono, during a courtesy visit led by the Vice-Chairman, Kare Hi-Tech Engineering Limited, Abba Gana, at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.
Nanono who was impressed expressed optimism that the proposed initiative called ‘Recovery and Livelihood Programme’ by the firm to tackle irrigation challenges in the region including the Lake Chad Basin will compliment laudable programmes by the Buhari-led administration in the agricultural sector, hence will lift Nigerians out of poverty in no distant time.
According to him, the North East region bordering the Lake Chad Basin was a strategic and important agricultural producing area that forms the hub of trading activities that spans to Chad, Sudan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Libya, and also connecting other African countries.
He said: “The Recovery and Livelihood Programme proposed by Kare Hi-Tech Engineering Limited, on tackling irrigation challenges at the Lake Chad Basin, will compliment laudable programmes by the Buhari-led administration in the agricultural sector hence will lift Nigerians out of poverty in no distant time.
“The North East region bordering the Lake Chad Basin remains a strategic and important agricultural producing area which forms a hub of trading activities that spans to Chad, Sudan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Libya, and also connecting other African countries.
“The ministry will make an impact in the Lake Chad Basin region especially in the cultivation of the food value chain.”
The Minister also pointed out that with such laudable initiative other development partners in the sector could buy into the project in order to make it a model for job and wealth creation.
Also speaking on the development, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Shehuri, also stressed that the North-East region has been in dare need of development following the devastating effect of insurgency and commended the firm for taking such step.
“I am also from the North East Region and I am conversant with the problems plaguing it to date. The way to approach these myriads of challenges is to provide the people with a stable source of livelihood such as what Kare Hi-Tech Engineering Limited is proposing to do”, he said.
Earlier speaking, the Managing Director, Kare Hi-Tech Engineering Limited, Bala Mandara, disclosed that the firm deemed it necessary to visit the Minister to seek Federal Government’s partnership and support to provide agricultural solutions to the troubled Lake Chad and North East region through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
According to Mandara during his presentation of the project proposal to the Minister said Public-Private Partnership, PPP, remains paramount and strategic as the group would reach out to other development partners to achieve objectives of the project and make the desired impact.
Some of the development partners include Food and Agricultural Organisation, FAO and United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, and that government’s partnership will be to address some of the challenges facing the North –East, particularly the Lake Chad Basin and Borno State.
“Some of the major activities we intend to embark on include the irrigation for rice cultivation, sorghum, vegetables, livestock breeding, fish farming, cotton production, groundnut and soybeans cultivation, and production.
“We will also carry out value addition and processing as well as training and extension services to farmers”, he said.