The International Food and Agricultural Development, IFAD, market development adviser in Nigeria, Hajiya Fatima Muktari Buhari on Tuesday lauded Taraba state governor Darius Dickson Ishaku for taking the state into the league of leading states in rice production in Nigeria.
Hajia Fatima who gave the commendation during a courtesy call on Governor Ishaku in Government House, Jalingo said that at a production level of 80,000 metric tons of rice per annum, Taraba state had become the pride of the nation and the international community.
She acknowledged the state’s annual contribution of 21,000 tons of cassava to the national domestic market, adding that the contribution is worth 33 million US dollars.
She said the credit for these achievements must go to Gov Ishaku for his vision and commitment to food production in the state.
She noted that under Ishaku Taraba pays its counterpart funds promptly by providing an enhanced enabling environment, rice production per hectre jumped to 4.9 metric tonnes or 80 bags.
Responding, Governor Ishaku thanked Hajiya Fatima for the visit and reiterated the commitment of his administration to empowering Tarabans through agriculture.
He said Taraba alone can produce all the rice needed to feed Nigerians and called for the support of the Federal Government.
He described Taraba state as a Cassava Kingdom and promised to continue to encourage more farmers to take to its production.
He also spoke about other special endowments in the state which needed to be harnessed for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians. These include tea and coffee production.
He called for the federal government intervention in the state’s request for a loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria to purchase hand tractors for use by farmers in the state.