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The Sokoto State Agricultural Development Project (SADP) says it repaired two rigs and eight operational vehicles to boost food production.
The Programme Manager, Mr. Abubakar Malami, said in Sokoto on Saturday that more than N6.6 million was spent on the repairs.
Malami said: “I inherited two grounded rigs and they were repaired with about N1.6 million, to assist dry season farmers in drilling subsidized tube wells for them.
”We have so far dug no fewer than 60 of such tube wells for the farmers across the state.
”Each tubewell was drilled for them at N40,000 as against the N 90,000 they were hitherto paying to private drillers per tubewell.”
According to Malami, the project had also recruited additional 159 agricultural extension agents.
This, he explained, brought the number to 279 from the less than 100 he inherited about eight months ago.
Malami further said Gov. Aminu Tambuwal had approved the recruitment of additional 250 extension agents between now and the end of 2018.
”The extension agents have been adequately trained and deployed to the 23 local government areas of the state.
“We are seriously partnering with the Institute of Agricultural Research, Zaria, Kaduna State, in this direction.
”The aim of these gestures is to meet the World Bank ratio of one extension agent to 800 farmers.
”These agents were provided with adequate mobility and logistics to be advising the farmers all-year round,” he added.
Malami further stated that the agency had repaired eight operational vehicles with over N5 million to ensure routine monitoring and evaluation.
He lamented that he inherited only one ”partially operational vehicle,” saying that the rehabilitated vehicles are being put into proper use.
”We really have to commend the governor for reviving the hitherto moribund project by injecting huge human and material resources into it.
”Gov. Tambuwal had repeatedly promised to turn farming in the state into a business and not farming only for subsistence.
”The import of this would be enhanced food production, value addition, reduction of hunger and poverty, among others.
”This happy development would also bolster the efforts by the federal and state governments to diversify the economy to non-oil sectors, especially agriculture,” Malami said.