Kebbi State Govenor Atiku Bagudu has said the state will produce rice and livestock in commercial quantities for export to earn foreign exchange.
Bagudu stated this yesterday when he received a team of agricultural experts from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Oyo State.
According to him, the state recorded a 300 per cent increase in rice and wheat production. It is second to Yobe in livestock production.
Bagudu called on international research organisations to make a critical assessment of the agricultural policy of his administration, which is aimed at developing the state’s agricultural potential.
The governor also appealed to IITA to provide research outlets in the state to boost farmers’ capability in grains production and processing. He said the state also had great potential in the production of groundnut, soya beans, cowpeas, sesame seeds, banana, cocoyam, yam, millet, bambara nut, sugarcane, guinea-corn, cassava and ginger.
Leader of the IITA team Dr Kenton Dashiell said the institute was recognised globally as a centre of excellence for agricultural research and resources.
According to him, the team was on a research mission to the state to learn about its agricultural potential, especially in soya beans, since the state is a specialist in soya bean cultivation.
State Chairman of Rice Farmers Association (AFAN) Sahabi Augie said the association would partner IITA to boost rice production.
He appealed to the institute to assist farmers by supplying them with improved rice seedlings.