Kogi State will work hard to generate at least 15 percent of its income from the agricultural sector in 2018, Governor Yahaya Bello has said.
In his new year statewide broadcast from his country home in Okene, Bello said the state had made tremendous progress in agriculture as an alternative source of income and employment for the teeming population.
“Our first harvest from the experimental farm at Omi Dam was hugely satisfying, considering that it is an initial effort. The first batch of Confluence Rice hit the market in December 2017.
“This is a source of income we hope to nurture from domestic sales, and if there is a surplus, there will be distribution to other parts of the country and even export,” Bello said.
According to the governor, the rice renaissance in Kogi State is traceable to the Agricultural Revolution Programme (ARP) which was launched with fanfare early in 2017. He listed, among others, cashew, cassava, sugarcane and benniseed as other crops which the government is strategizing to cultivate.
“We have made advanced progress with possible investors to cultivate these on an industrial scale in 2018. By the end of year, we should be able to attribute at least 15 percent of our income to earnings from the agricultural sector.”
Bello said the government was also planning to generate revenue from direct investment in solid minerals.
“We have not neglected the potentials of this rich source of internally generated revenue. Our state-owned solid minerals production company has been undergoing revitalisation to give it a corporate structure which is more responsive to the current realities.”
The governor said his administration had initiated a programme of social welfare packages to reach as many of the residents at the grassroots as possible.