Sokoto state governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, against the backdrop of the perennial flooding that ravaged many parts of the state and the pledges he made to that effect that a robust dry season farming scheme would be executed to cushion the effects, on Thursday inaugurated a high-powered committee to come up with a viable strategy to make the scheme workable.
A statement signed by his special adviser on media and publicity, Muhammed Bello, disclosed that the committee is headed by Dr Jabbi Kilgori, the District Head of Kilgori in Yabo local government area of the state, the committee has three weeks to submit its report.
Other members of the committee according to Bello are the state Commissioners of Agriculture, Environment, Animal Health and Water Resources.
Equally, the General Manager of Sokoto Agricultural Development Program (SADP), the Executive Chairman and Director-General of the state Commodity Board as well as the Provost of the state’s College of Agriculture, Wurno, will serve as members.
Others are representatives of the state ministry of agriculture, the FADAMA III project, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). In addition, university dons, heads of relevant departments in tertiary institutions across the state, the civil service and other professionals will serve on the committee.
Meanwhile, both Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria are expected to play consultancy roles to fast track the work of the committee.
The committee is detailed to come up with a framework, requirements and designs to mitigate the effect of the flooding being witnessed in the state through dry season farming.
In case the committee finds that there is need for additional funding beyond the capacity of the state, the governor directed that it should engage a wide kaleidoscope of stakeholders and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the modalities of packaging harvested produce during the farming period and marketing same.
Assuring, nonetheless, that the state has ample endowment to pilot the scheme, Gov. Tambuwal charged the committee to hit the ground running in order to enable the state government to send a supplementary budget on the matter to the Sokoto State House of Assembly (SOHA).
Responding to the Governor, the Chairman of the Committee, Dr Kilgori
appreciated his appointment and that of other members, assuring the state government of the cooperation of the committee.
He pledged that all relevant stakeholders will be contacted and those required will be incorporated, with a view to coming up with a comprehensive blueprint for the dry season farming scheme envisaged by the government to lessen the suffering of farmers who lost a lot to the flood.