Governor Aminu Masari says the Katsina State government, since the inception of his administration in 2015, has created over one million short-term and long-term jobs, mostly for women and youths.
He also disclosed the over N13 billion has so far been generated as income to agricultural entrepreneurs in the state.
The governor said this on Saturday at the launch of a 600-hectares Date Palm planting campaign at Ajiwa town in Batagarawa Local Government Area of the state.
He commended the Federal Government for its effort in tackling banditry in Katsina and for initiating the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, which according to him, has supported the state government’s effort in agricultural production.
Governor Masari said his administration was committed to deploying modern means of agriculture to ensure increased productivity and continuous support to farmers and enhance surplus production to close the gap of food shortages created by banditry in some areas of the state.
“In order to actualise the 600 hectares targeted across the 34 LGAs of the state and ensure the participation of small and medium-scale farmers who constitute 80 per cent of state farming population, there is the need for development partners to come in,” he acknowledged.
The governor, however, stressed the need for the National Association of Date Farmers, Processors, and Marketers of Nigeria (NADAFPAM) to properly sensitise financial institutions, especially the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regarding the importance and financial benefits of date planting.
Earlier in his welcome address, the state deputy governor, Mannir Yakubu, announced that for the take-off of the date palm plantation, 20 hectares of land would be provided in each of the seven old local government areas.
Yakubu, who is also the Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said 17 hectares would be provided in each of the remaining 27 local government areas, with 60 youths selected across the state to undergo a workshop on the establishment and management of date palm.
He added that a step-down training would be organised for other youths in the state.