Benue Agricultural Revolution

Throughout the electioneering period and even up to the period in which he was sworn into office, the Governor of Benue state, His Excellency, Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia, has identified agriculture as one of the most viable sectors that the state needs to be proud of.

This sector has therefore remained indelible in the heart of the Governor and its transformation from a peasant and upgrade to become a vibrant business, has called for multi-faceted efforts. It is pleasing to hear the Governor emphatically stress that, “we don’t have oil but we have the soil”.

This therefore, underscores the greater importance the Potent Priest, who is in the saddle of the governance of Benue State, attach to the task of redeeming the state’s agricultural sector from the doldrums or sliding into oblivion.

On several occasions, the Governor lamented that despite the popularity of the appellation of being the ‘Food Basket of the Nation’, Benue farmers still notoriously lack (then) the capacity to guarantee food security hence they had no wherewithal to produce optimally. Consequently, it occasioned on him to take very urgent and responsible steps towards revolutionizing the sector in a manner that it becomes a money spinner that generates wealth for the state and lift the population out of poverty.

It could be recalled that, while unveiling his manifesto christened, “Strategic Development Plan for a Greater Benue,” Governor Alia said he would take deliberate steps to structure the manifesto around seven priority pillars on which he will develop the state. Agriculture featured prominently.

We all, as stakeholders, have duty, a responsibility, to ensure that the state does not only exist but the state lives to its fullness. For now, we are no near to that and that is why we had to do everything it takes to bring better prospects and to renew the good of our great state. Benue is too rich to be poor and to do anything less is not appreciating what God has made of us”, he said.

He explained that the document is structured around seven priority pillars with the acronym “SACHIIP” which stands for “Security of lives and property, Agriculture and rural development, Commerce and Industry, Human capital and social development, Infrastructure and environment, Information and Communication Technology, (ICT) and Political and economic governance.”

He has made agriculture a top priority in Benue State, aiming to revolutionize the sector and make it a key driver of the state’s economy.

Again, the governor mapped up innovative strategies towards empowering women and youth in agriculture.  Under this, targeted beneficiaries are to be mopped up and dedicated training programs, financial support, and other forms of assistance will be extended to them. Already, benefits of this initiatives are springing up.

This is because Benue State like many of the states in Nigeria, shares in some of the numerous challenges, included but not limited to, high poverty rates, a fragile environment, conflicts, degradation of natural resources, low agricultural productivity, climate-related risks, limited access to modern technology and weak institutional capacity, which calls for concerted efforts across various sectors, to address the multifaceted challenges.

On this note, during the occasion of the Implementation Support  Mission of the Agro- Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscape (ACReSAL), specifically tailored to bolster institutions and implement activities that mitigate the environmental impacts of climate change, including supporting efforts aimed at landscape management, improving community livelihoods, and resilience, and strengthening institutional frameworks, the State Governor, Fr. Alia, reaffirmed his commitment to providing the necessary support for the ACReSAL project to thrive. This he said, his ambition is to rejuvenate the agricultural sector, elevating Benue to unprecedented heights in food production, etc

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