Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State on Monday assured farmers that the government would not allow bandits to disrupt farming activities anywhere in the state.
The governor gave the assurance during the rollout of seed distribution for farmers for the 2020 planting season by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, in Kaduna.
“We are going to continue to make our farms safe for our people,” he stressed, adding that the government would wipe out the bandits to ensure the security of all citizens.
“We won’t talk to them, we are going to wipe them out by the grace of God through the combined operations of the Nigerian Air Force, Army and Police.
“We are working round the clock to ensure that these bandits are wiped out before the raining season advances.”
He particularly assured the people of Igabi, Giwa, Birnin Gwari, Kajuru and Chuku local government areas, where the bandits operate most, that the government would ensure their protection and restoration of normalcy.
”We will stop the banditry or they will die, we will kill them all and no apology for doing that,” he added.
El-Rufai commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s agricultural policy, noting that it had succeeded in placing Nigeria on the path of self-sufficiency in many agricultural products such as rice, maize and many others.
”I don’t know where Nigeria would have been amidst this coronavirus pandemic if we still needed to import food from abroad,“ he noted.
The governor thanked the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the National Assembly for providing the needed support to make the agricultural policy a reality.
According to him, Kaduna state produces 22 per cent of Nigeria’s maize and is also a leading producer of soya beans, tomatoes and sorghum among others.
“We have seen the impact of Federal Government policies on rural income, a major contribution to security.
“Because when people have money in their pockets they tend to live in peace: so we must congratulate the federal ministry of agriculture and Mr President for the policy consistency in the agricultural sector from 2015 to date.”
He assured the ministry of the state government’s willingness to cooperate with it on any agricultural programme so that farmers in the state derive maximum benefits from it.
He described the issue of agricultural mechanization as very essential to ensuring food security.
“Even with the improved seedlings this government is giving, greater access to fertilizer, herbicide and pesticide, we need to multiply our production and productivity through investment in mechanization and extension workers.
“On our part, I will like to inform the minister that here in Kaduna we already have a tractor assembly plant, and with private sector partners, we are raising the level of tractorization in the state so that every farmer will have access to a tractor when he needs it.”
El-Rufai called for the recapitalization of the Bank of Agriculture, to ensure that it has the capacity to lend to farmers with ease.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono flagged off the distribution of the agricultural inputs to farmers in the state.