The Kebbi State Government says it has entered into partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to produce wheat and rice in commercial quantity to boost food security and provide employment.
Gov. Saidu Dakingari made this known to newsmen when he inspected the sample of wheat seedlings produced by the indigenous wheat farmers in Argungu on Monday in Argungu.
Dakingari said the state government had earmarked 600,000 hectares of farmland for the project.
He said that wheat would be grown during the rainy season while rice production would take place during dry season.
According to him, the production of the cash crops is to boost employment and the internally generated revenue of the state.
He stressed that the farmers would be provided with seedlings, chemicals, fertiliser and extension services to raise yields.
The governor added that the aim was to exceed the 350,000 metric tonnes of rice produced last year.
Dr Ola Banje, Head of Lake Tchad Research Institute, said the Federal Government was partnering with the state to cut the N635 billion spent annually on rice and wheat importation.
Banje commended Dakingari for giving priority to agriculture, adding: “Kebbi has attained the point of reference on rice production as well as the expected high level of wheat production.”
He said the ministry would provide finance and material support to the farmers.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 1,000 bags of locally produced wheat seedlings were displayed by farmers at the occasion.