Revolutionise agriculture in Bauchi state




     

  In the current competing era whereby governments shift their economy away from a single revenue source to multifarious sources on account of the hastening captivating technological trend of renewable energy sources to mitigate global warming and climate change, Bauchi state should not lag behind.   

        Talking about Bauchi state’s economic diversification refreshes my memory about the first unforgettable democratically elected governor of the state, late Alhaji Abubakar Tatari Ali, who ran an all-inclusive government from 1979 to 1983. He made giant strides in constructing the entire major roads across the state, established 16 model farms, industries, complementary outfits like the Gubi Dairy Farm, Madangala Sheep Ranch, Galambi Cattle Ranch and Takko Poultry Farms with a view to diversifying the economy of the state, creating job opportunities, achieving food security and achieving socio-economic development. If that former governor executed far-sighted strategic planning for Bauchi state whose population was 103,570 in 1980s, does the current projected 621 million population of the state not deserve more than the yesteryears’ plan?

       According to a report released by the Resources for the Awareness of Population Impacts on Development, RAPID, the population of Bauchi state is projected to double in the next 19 years, as the state witnessed a steady growth in its population over the years. The report added that the youth population will have great implications for future socio-economic development as most of the youths are unemployed. So, what is the state currently planning for this terrifying impending population boom? 

       Well, delving too deeply into the alarming fastest-growing population, teeming youths unemployment and deathtrap of over-reliance on federal allocation of the state’s economy, are giving incumbent Governor Bala Mohammed or incoming one in 2023 a fair warning to follow the footsteps of late Tatari Ali by going all out to declare a state of emergency in the agriculture sector and engage the unemployed youths and women in dry-season commercial farming in order to resuscitate neglected 65 percent of the state’s arable land.

       It is absolutely compelling to note that this toddling state is watered by a multitude of dams, water sources, rivers, streams, clay soils and lakes. These overlooked long-standing natural resources include Tilden-fulani dam, Gubi dam, Zigau-misan lake, Ikunum lake, Kafin Zaki dam, Dindima dam, Jama’are river, Maladunba dam, Begel/Zungeru dam, Hardo Deba dam, Kadele Babuna dam, Hama lake, Gambaki dam, Bunga river, Zaki dam, Katini dam, Gulka dam, Boto dam, Disina dam, to mention but a few.

       Those long-standing natural resources that will definitely replace crude oil sooner than later should not be handled with kid gloves. Empowering our state’s unemployed young men and women living around those water sources will undoubtedly change the narrative of the state, put it on a path of booming economy and give the next generation reason for hope.

        It will indeed be a very good idea for Bauchi state government to massively engage its youths and women in the lucrative commercial dry-season farming across the state in partnership with agriculture private sectors such as the Bayer Nigeria Partners, African Development Bank (ADB), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) to mobilise and provide farmers with sufficient funds so as to improve food production, reduce poverty, scale up job creation and diversify the state’s economy.

        Therefore, Governor Bala should act on President Muhammadu Buhari’s call on governors to establish farm estates in every senatorial district across the country with a view to hitting a myriad of birds with one stone. This is a good tool for creating job opportunities for youths and ultimate option for the state’s long-awaited economic diversification and greater revenue generation when a vast array of renewable energy sources entirely render fossil fuels obsolete globally.

         In the current federal government’s long-awaited laudable agricultural revolution or Green Alternative, Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed must be commended because shortly after completion of urban and semi-urban road construction and rehabilitation, his altruistic or inclusive government ushered him to embark upon building much-needed rural roads in every nook and cranny of the state with the aim of fostering the federal government’s impressive array of the Green Alternative policies, creating jobs, invigorating his state’s socio-economic growth and facilitating agricultural markets for commercial farmers.

      Those sorely needed rural roads include Itas to Gadau, Warji to Gwaram, Nasaru to Balma, Soro to Miya, Bogoro to Lusa, Boi to Tapshin, Kirfi to Gombe Abba, Yashi to Yuli, Chanade to Gambaki and linked Maiduguri highway, Caracara to Lafiya and linked Kano highway. These cardinal far-reaching rural roads will positively play a key role towards mitigating multidimensional abject poverty and rejuvenating the country’s valiant effort to bring back its lost ranking as the food basket of the African continent.  

      To sum up, agriculture is indeed the vehicle and heart for survival of the human race. The frightening fastest-growing population and uncertainty of federal allocation have over the years been sounding the alarm for Bauchi government to swiftly diversify the state’s economy to agriculture by earnestly engaging its youths and women. Building a brighter future for our state relies on dry-season commercial agriculture, agro-industrialisation and small scale businesses.

Baba writes from

Alkali Musa Street, Azare, Bauchi state, via

[email protected]

08149712150 

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