Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, has restated the commitment of his administration to improve agriculture and other sectors of the economy in the State.
This, he said, is part of measures taken by the government to ensure food security and sustainable means of livelihood for the people as the state remains an agric-based economy.
Masari disclosed this on Friday when he commissioned two rice farming centres at Makera and Raddawa villages in Matazu and Dutsinma Local Government Areas of the state.
The commissioning of the two centres is coming under a project undertaken by the State Government in partnership with a South Korean Company geared towards improving the rice-cultivating skills of the farmers.
The project, he explained, also intends to discourage rice importation and improve the social and economic status of people living in rural areas thereby bringing them out of abject poverty.
According to Masari, the project had since its inception last year, transformed the way local farmers produce rice from one point five tonnes per hectare to six tonnes per hectare with the skills they have acquired.
“They gave a history of how they started because in 1960 they were poor. They cannot even feed themselves. And by 1970, they adopted this method and today they are among the first world
“So, if we apply the knowledge they have given to us and use agriculture as the foundation for our development, the sky is the limit for our people and our country.
“50 years back, South Korea introduced this foundation to strengthen agriculture across all villages and communities in the country.
“Through their struggle to feed themselves and by extension exporting the rice to other countries, God assisted them to have their economy improved and now they are among the first world economy,” Masari disclosed.
In his remarks, the Dutsinma Local Government Area Chairman, Hon. Suleiman Muhammad Namadi projected that at the end of the project which he said will last for three years, over a million farmers will benefit.
On his part, the Director General of the Katsina Investment Promotion Agency (KIPA), Alhaji Ibrahim Tukur Jikamshi, assured of the agency’s readiness to continue to promote micro, small and medium enterprises in the state in order to attract local and foreign investors into the state.
Earlier in his keynote address, the Country Representative of the South Korean company, Mr. Keith Kyungbok Lee, observed that Nigeria has great potential for increasing rice productivity, especially in Katsina State where there is an abundance of land to cultivate by local farmers.
He recalled that the company had on arrival to Katsina State shared its wealth of knowledge and experience and so far successfully tested its philosophy in the Dutsinma research centre.
Channels Television recalled that in June last year, the State Government in collaboration with the South Korean company began training 230,000 rural local farmers on local rice farming.
The South Korean way of rice cultivation is aimed at not only improving the rice cultivating skills of the farmers but also discouraging rice importation and improving the social and economic status of people living in rural areas thereby bringing them out of abject poverty.