Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
A memorandum of understanding between the Bauchi state government and the government of the Czech Republic is being concluded to provide the state with cheaper agricultural equipment in an effort to make agriculture attractive and transform it to an alternative source of revenue and better employer of labour that gives greater yield than the traditional agricultural method.
Governor of Bauchi state Mohammed Abubakar who stated this at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International, Airport, Abuja shortly after returning from the Czech Republic, said the delegation he led to the Czech Republic from Bauchi state was in that country on the invitation of the minister of agriculture and the deputy minister of foreign affairs of the Czech Republic.
According to a press release signed by the Press Secretary to the governor, Abubakar Al-Sadique, which was made available to THISDAY Weekend, the governor stressed that for agriculture which is one of the major employers of labour in Nigeria to provide the alternative source of revenue the country desperately needs, farming must be “practiced in the scientific way”, where mechanisation will replace traditional methods.
Abubakar lamented that farmers in Bauchi state like other Nigerian farmers rely on traditional farming which consumes lots of human energy and resources but yields far less to the farmers.
“Because we now need to test the soil to determine its suitability for the cultivation of the crops we intend to cultivate to increase our yield per hectre, we must embrace the developments and innovations being brought to agriculture that come with researches in science and technology, which the Czech Republic so seriously engages in. The yield per hectre for maize, for example, in the Czech Republic is about 40 tones while in Nigeria the highest is unfortunately about 5 tones”, the governor whose delegation was taken round modern farms to see how modern agriculture is practiced in the Czech Republic, he said.
Under the memorandum of understanding, the Czech Republic is to support the agricultural sector in the state by providing especially small scale farmers with multi-purpose mini tractors and other farming implements at low costs that Bauchi farmers can easily afford.
At the inception of his administration, Abubakar visited the Czech Republic and thereafter a trade delegation from that country also visited Nigeria during which time he had a meeting with the delegation on investment potentials of the state in the areas of agriculture and tourism.
It was the result of that meeting which informed the agriculture minister and the deputy minister of foreign affairs’ specific invitation of Bauchi state to see how the Czech Republic can help the state boost its agriculture through science and technology and use of modern agricultural implements produced in that country.
Because of the interest the authorities in the Czech Republic have in investing in agricultural development of Bauchi state, accommodation and other logistics were provided to Governor Mohammed Abubakar and members of his delegation.