Birnin Kebbi — Kebbi State appears to be charting another path to economic prosperity through soya beans production. The state, known for its breakthrough in rice production, is collaborating with a private company in Lagos and has engaged over 30, 000 farmers in nine local government areas to produce the crop in commercial quantity.
To achieve its objective, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Garba Muhammed Garba, told our correspondent that another set of 10,000 farmers would be sponsored by the state government to cultivate soya beans to meet its production target. Some of the communities being targeted for soya beans cultivation are Danko/ Wasagu, Zuru, Fakai, Ngaski,Shanghai, Yauri, Koko/Besse, Bena, Birnin Tudu, Augie and Bagudo.
Already, a team of agriculture experts led by Dr. Kenton Dashiell from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, has promised to examine the soya beans potential in Kebbi State with a view to helping it achieve its production objective.
During one of his public engagements, Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, had hinted on the state's preparedness to go into large production of soya beans. He said given the state's potentials in agricultural activities and its FADAMA lands, it also has the plan to produce soya beans in large quantities as it is currently doing in rice and wheat production.
Apart from the selected farmers, the governor said his administration was ready to support and assist other farmers that wish to cultivate soya beans with the required inputs to boost its production in the state. "Apart from soya beans, we are also looking into how we can assist our farmers to tap the state's potentials in cassava, onions, groundnut, cowpeas, sesame seeds and ginger," he said.
The state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Samaila Yombe Dabai, during an assessment tour to some of the soya beans producing communities in the state, told journalists that Kebbi was ready to give priority to large-scale soya beans production. The deputy governor said Kebbi would not limit itself to rice and wheat production alone because it has the potentials to produce other crops in large quantities.
Few months ago, the state set up a committee to identify the communities that could produce the crop in large quantities to meet the commercial target of the state government.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Garba, said the state with regards to its MoU with Lagos, decided to improve on production of many of the crops that it has the potential to produce in large quantities.
He said, "Farmers will be organised into cooperatives and the state has already ordered for 100 tractors and 100 thrashers to support farmers."