The International Food and Agricultural Development, IFAD, has commended Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku for taking the state into the league of leading states in rice production in Nigeria.
The commendation was made by Hajiya Fatima Muktari Buhari, the organisation’s Market Development Adviser in Nigeria and daughter of President Muhammadu Buhari, during a courtesy call on Governor Ishaku in Government House, Jalingo.
She said at a production level of 80,000 metric tonnes of rice per annum, Taraba State had become the pride of the nation and the international community.
She also acknowledged the state’s annual contribution of 21,000 tonnes of cassava to the national domestic market, which is worth over 33 million US Dollars.
Hajiya Fatima Buhari said the credit for these achievements must go to Governor Ishaku for his vision and commitment to food production in the state.
She noted that under Governor Ishaku, Taraba pays its counter funds promptly by providing an enhanced enabling environment, rice production per hectre jumped to 4.9 metric tonnes or 80 bags, This, she said, is a huge achievement.
Responding, Governor Ishaku thanked Hajiya Fatima for the visit and reiterated the commitment of his administration to empowering Tarabans through agriculture.
He said Taraba alone can produce all the rice needed to feed Nigerians and called for the support of the Federal Government.
He described Taraba State as a Cassava Kingdom and promised to continue to encourage more farmers to take to its production.
He also spoke about other special endowments in the state which needed to be harnessed for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians.
These include tea and coffee production. He called for the Federal Government intervention in the state’s request for a loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria to purchase hand tractors for use by farmers in the state.