The Katsina State government has announced its determination to revive cotton and rice production, as part of its diversification plans.
|Aminu Bello Masari|
According to Governor Aminu Bello Masari, the state would concentrate on the value-chain in cotton and rice production, insisting that what made cotton farmers abandon their farms for other businesses would be revisited.
Masari, who disclosed this on his return from China and India, where he signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with some companies that would collaborate with the state in boosting the economy, said the seven North West states have contacted Arewa Research and Development (ARD), as its Consultant, where issues of cotton and rice production were identified as areas the state has some advantage.
While working with other states, Masari revealed that, “African Development Bank (AfDB) and Islamic Development Bank (IDB) have indicated interest in the identified areas of comparative advantage. So Katsina State will bounce back in full force in both cotton and rice production.”
In an effort to also boost sugar production, the governor disclosed that, Danja Sugar factory would soon bounce back under his administration. “One of the MoUs signed during my trip, solely concentrates on Danja Dam Project. When that is achieved, I assure you that sugar production will be one of our major sources of income,” said Masari.
On fertiliser distribution, the governor assured that government has re-strategised on the distribution channel. “With the way we are doing it, it will be very difficult for middle men to penetrate. All the necessary checks and balances would be redeployed so as to enable our real farmers get the product,” Masari said.
On tomato production and processing, he revealed that his administration would take the issue of small-scale industries in tomato production and processing more seriously.
Green Economic Centre is also part of our major priorities. We are determined to revive our strength in agriculture. There is no two ways about this. The Centre will be from Army Barrack to Jibia,” he emphasised.Worried over the limited access to funds, the governor insisted that, other options for boosting the economy was to concentrate largely on agriculture.