The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of North-East Development Commission, NEDC, Mr Mohammed Goni Alkali, said the commission had distributed 29 tractors, power tillers, other equipment in efforts to assist farmers in Gombe State ease the difficulties in carrying out their vocations.
Alkali stated that the commission had intervened in providing adequate infrastructure, processing agricultural produce, healthcare, education and empowerment among others.
Mr. Mohammed Goni Alkali stated this in Gombe on Thursday during the distribution.
He said the decision to deepen intervention in the agricultural sector through the distribution of farm implement was as a result of the fact that “over 95 percent of North East depend on agriculture and we have designed an integrated Agric programme so that people will go back to the farm in more organise and driven way.
“This is why we get the tractors in Gombe to be distributed to farmers. The tractors are assembled in Gombe by the local people who were trained to do the job and will also be there to train others to know how to assemble,’’ he said.
The chief executive officer added that the commission had put in place plans to ensure the sustainability of the implement by “ establish servicing centres for repairing such tractors in the event of a breakdown. We don’t want a situation whereby tractors will be abandoned just because it broke down and there is nobody to repair or service it.’’
According to him, farmers will also be empowered through training on modern farming techniques which he sees as a major tool toward ensuring increase productivity in the sector.
Alkali stated that the major challenge in the North East was how to engage and empower the youth who form the larger population, stressing that there is no state in the sub-region that you would not find young men and women roaming the street with nothing to do.
“We know ICT is key and we have in Gombe a centre where the youth can be trained in various activities like Computer graphics and mobile phones repair,’’ he said
Alkali stated that plans were underway to train between 1000 and 2000 women and youths in computers and phones repairing as well as computer graphics.