Plateau pays N1bn for reaquisition of BARC farms
Plateau State government has paid the sum of N1 billion for the re-acquisition of the Brewery Agro Research Company (BARC) Farms in Zallaki Village in Bassa Local Government sold off by previous administration in the state.
Tribune Online reports that Governor Simon Lalong disclosed this during his visit to the farm to flag off the allocation of one thousand hectares of lands to members of All Farmers Association, interested civil servants, pensioners and members of the host communities on the temporary arrangement as part of the process of making the moribund farm functional.
Governor Lalong said the re-acquisition of BARC Farms was a very bold step to return the pride of Plateau State and create jobs by reviving commercial agriculture which the farm was reputed for.
He said: “In its days of glory, the farm was into cultivation of dry and irrigated crops such as grain, vegetable and tree crops; cattle ranches; poultry farms with parent and hatchery units; piggery; abattoir for poultry, pigs and cattle; as well as operated a big dam for fishery.”
According to him, so far, the government has paid one billion naira for the re-acquisition of BARC Farm shares, representing about 70 percent of the total sum, with the hope to complete the balance before the end of the year.
Governor Lalong expressed hope that at the long run, the Farm which has potential for occupying over 30% to 40% share of the Agro-allied market in Nigeria, will leverage on its existing structures to cultivate crops that the state has comparative advantage in.
In his address, Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Hosea Finangwai said the government was aware of the concerns about security and the deplorable road infrastructure leading to the farm and is already taking steps to address those fears to re-assure the farmers of their safety and investment.
Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Abe Mark Aku and the General Manager, Plateau Investments and Properties Company, Mr. Chrys Yilzak advised the people of Plateau State especially civil servants to support the governor by embracing farming so as to create other sources of income particularly at this time when COVID-19 has greatly impacted the state’s resources.
The governor also presented letters of offer, fertilisers and other farm inputs before he ploughed one of the plots.