By George Daniya

Niger State Government

Niger State government on Friday said, it would empower 1,000 youths with N1.5 billion set aside by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme.

The state Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alh. Nuhu Dukku, disclosed this during a press conference in Minna.

The Commissioner said that, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello gave the approval during the weekly executive council meeting.

He explained that the money was set aside by the CBN for each state to engage the youths in farming of agricultural products.

Dukku said that 1,000 hectares of land have been cleared in the three geopolitical zones to engage the youths, adding that one hectare will be given to each youth to cultivate crops such as rice, maize and soya beans.

He said, 250 hectares of land is in Rijau, 400 in Mokwa and 400 in Borgu local government areas of the state, as well as 100 hectares of land each in Tagwai and Gwada.

“We have three mandated crops to plant such as Rice, Maize and Soya Beans. The areas mentioned are the pilot places to start the Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme.

“The fields have been cleared. What is left is to engage tractors into the farm and plough them, and then the youths will commence farming,” he said. 

The Commissioner said that each beneficiary would be given about N400,000 to N500,000, adding that the essence of the programme was to boost agriculture production in the state.