Lafia — Nasarawa State government and the Federal Government are to jointly embark on establishment of the first ever yam and other root crop Preserving Centre to be cited at Keffi, Nasarawa State.
Nasarawa State Governor, Aliyu Akwe Doma, who performed the foundation stone-laying ceremony said the state government has already received the Federal Government's contribution for the construction work which would commence immediately.
He said the Federal Government also promised to supply and install required equipment at the centre as soon as the civil construction work is completed.
He said the project, which would be done in line with the policy and philosophy of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which seeks to promote at least two agricultural crops from states controlled by it will get its supply basically from Nasarawa and Benue states.
Describing agriculture as a three-thronged approach towards achieving development, he said the state government would continue to use agriculture to reduce poverty, attain food security and industrial development.
He pledged that government would continue to assist farmers in the state with the provision of improved seedlings, services of agricultural extension workers, supply of tractors to farmers and access to micro-loans.
"In the same vein, the Nasarawa Produce and Marketing Development Agency is being restructured and strengthened to purchase excess produce from farmers and monitor prices," Doma said.
Permanent Secretary, Minis-try of Agriculture, Nasarawa State, Mohammad Idris, said the state was a major yam producer in the country, so the choice of the state as the conditioning centre was apt.
Management of first produce in the United Kingdom would also be at hand to give indigenous technicians a hand on how to handle the plant.