Gombe state government has promised to improve farming practices, increase the productivity of agriculture, raise smallholder incomes and reduce environmental impacts in the state.
The government also promised to promote rural prosperity, ensure resilience to climate change and employ more extension workers in the State.
Gov. Inuwa Yahaya made the the pledge in Gombe during a news conference to mark his 100 days in office.
He said to ensure sustainable food production systems with high yields and bring back the lost glory of agriculture in the state, his administration would re-establish the moribund farm centers in all the 114 wards across the state.
“If we are not to lose ground in the face of rising population and environmental degradation, agriculture must be revamped and agricultural value chains must be the economic bedrock of rural development.”
The governor said Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) activities would be reviewed for better positioning and effective utiliisation.
“Agricultural Development Programme was established in Gombe State in 1974 before the creation of Bauchi state and funded by World Bank with 23 million dollars.
“The existence of the ADP had made Gombe an agrarian state hence the need to establish farm centers in all the 114 wards across the state which were in existence before they became dilapidated in the late 80s,” he said.
Yahaya identified another major focus as improving agricultural productivity mainly by promoting adoption of improved agricultural technologies through extension activities.
The governor acknowledged the fact that agric extension workers in the state were grossly inadequate because there are only 11 extension personnel in its pay roll.
“It is only the Director Agric Extension and 10 persons were in government payroll.
“Most of the extension workers have retired from the service and there was no recruitment by the previous administration to replace them,’’ he said.
Yahaya said agricultural extension was crucial to development of the agricultural sector and overall national development.
The governor said demand-driven extension agents would be employed to render adequate modern technology to the farming populace.