Efforts are in top gear by the Plateau State government to make seamless transportation and distribution of farm produce and livestock from the state to other parts of the country and world at large.
Dropping this hint yesterday at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, the state governor, Simon Lalong said to achieve this, the state has commenced the expansion and development of perishable cargo terminal at the Jos airport to make this move a reality.
According to Lalong, the timely evacuation of farm produce would help the farmers make maximum profits from their crops and also ensure that they are sold out fresh.
Farmers across the country had lamented how poor evacuation of their produce by road had made them record shortage due to the loss of substantial parts of their harvest to delays and untidy movement to ready markets in populated cities in the country.
Lalong, however, attributed the plan behind the move to build a perishable cargo terminal at the Jos airport which had already been designated as international cargo airport to the resolve of his administration to focus on agriculture as a way of assisting farmers in the state to boost their produce by facilitating the process of their reaching their market.
“The Jos airport is already designated as international cargo airport. It is only that it has not been used for a very long time. So when we came in we went to the place and we have it in the budget to expand the place and provide the necessary facilities so that we can use the airport properly as cargo airport. Secondly we now focus on agriculture as you mentioned. A lot of farm produce comes through Jos, from Maiduguri and other parts of the neighbouring states.
“Jos is a transit to about five states, so all of them will pass through the airport. Because of that we need collaboration with the federal government so we will quickly do the expansion and take advantage of the international cargo airport that we have. When we talk about ranches, we are talking about the production of more cows, so we need a cargo airport,” Lalong said.