The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Muhammed Abubakar, on Monday inaugurated three rural farm markets and five-hectare commercial pasture in Gombe State to minimise rural-urban migration.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the markets were located in Kashere community in Akko Local Government Area; Billiri community in Billiri LGA and Kuri community in Yamaltu/Deba LGA.
Abubakar while inaugurating the projects said the Federal Government was concerned about the development of rural communities in efforts to assist farmers market their goods while boosting their incomes.
Represented by Mr Umar Mohammed, Zonal Director, North East, FMARD, Abubakar said it was part of the mandate of the ministry to promote agricultural activities while partnering with other stakeholders where necessary.
He stated that the Federal Government had prioritised the agriculture sector in view of its huge potential in providing jobs, boosting food security and improving the wellbeing of rural dwellers.
According to him, government will continue to invest in the sector to develop its value chain especially in rural communities to ensure that more youths were engaged and discouraged from migrating to urban centres.
He added that “That’s the reason we are investing in rural projects like solar street lights and boreholes, construction of rural roads to move far produce easily and timely, building farm markets and other interventions.
“When youths are encouraged to stay in rural communities to grow crops and rear animals, food security will no longer be a challenge because we have the capacity to feed ourselves and we are on course.’’
The minister also hinted that the Federal Government through collaboration some foreign partners was working to strengthen mechanised farming in the country, to boost productivity and make farming easy for farmers.
Abubakar who also inaugurated a five-hectare commercial pasture in Tukulma-Pindiga grazing reserve said the gesture was to minimise farmer-herder clashes while helping to boost productivity in the livestock sector.
On his part, Mr Musa Inuwa, the State Coordinator of the FMARD, Gombe, urged the communities where the projects were inaugurated to ensure proper ownership and maintenance.
Mr Muhammad Magaji, Gombe State Commissioner of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, said the intervention would help improve marketing of farm produce while linking farmers to the right channels to store and market their produce.
NAN also reports that farmers, traditional rulers and other traders who participated in the ceremony commended the Federal Government’s rural development initiatives, adding “as farmers, we are now feeling comfortable to cultivate our crops.’’(NAN)