In the far-flung areas of Alau in Konduga Local Government Area which TheBrief visited, an intimidating agricultural masterpiece basks in the blazing sun fully functional, with 4 massive Centre Pivot Irrigation systems of two 60 hectares and another two 35 hectares of farmlands.
The 1st stage of the Agricultural rejuvenation of Borno, has already produced a bountiful harvest of Irish potatoes, with its first ever cultivation on the N/Eastern state’s soil. Producing about 140 50Kg bags in total, the system has proven to be a success, even at this test stage.
With N20bn spent so far on equipment and on other aspects of the scheme, the state’s efforts have remained unknown to the world, besides the handful of persons directly involved.
Dili remarked that for fear of sabotage, from the previous administration, the state opted to keep its exploits secret, but is now ready to open it to the world, to attract patronage.
According to the state government, as IDPs return to their homes, a small plantation of mango trees, poultry, mobile ponds and oil mills will be donated to 100-200 women from the beginning.
The proceeds from their farms will be bought by the government, to be used in the school feeding programme.
With the next stage of the all year farming scheme set to commence next month, Borno is becoming an agricultural force to be reckoned with again.
IDPs from nearby camps in Maiduguri, have already been trained and employed to work on the farms, with a couple of seasoned farmers among them owning farms in the area where the equipment are currently being used, allowing them to benefit directly from the scheme.
Women and children have been employed to plant cashew trees, and are paid per output. (The going rate is, N300 for every 25 seedlings tended to).
Although Boko Haram still remains a thorn in the flesh that orchestrates attacks, Borno’s prospects are bright.
Its plans of returning all those affected by the scourge of insurgency back to their homes and equipped with a viable means of livelihood is quite the site. A step in the right direction, The Home of Peace is ready to embrace and live up to its slogan