By Zubairu Idris
Katsina, Oct. 2, 2020 The Katsina State Government has conducted soil mapping on 70,750 smallholder farms in 152 communities in the state.
Dr Abba Abdullahi, the Special Adviser to Gov. Aminu Masari on Agriculture, disclosed on Friday during a news conference in Katsina.
Abdullahi said that the government partnered OCP of Morocco in carrying out the project.
According to him, the project consists of a mobile soil testing laboratory that move from one farm to another to analyse soil nutrients status.
Abdullahi also said that the project focus on maize, rice, millet, sorghum, cotton, soya beans and cassava nutrients requirements.
He said that it determines the nutrient content of each soil so as to guide on the type of fertilizers needed for more crops production.
Abdullahi also said that the state government had spent N17.6 million on the production of 1.4 million seedlings of various indigenous tree species that were distributed to farmers.
The special adviser said the distribution of the species was part of measures to curtail desertification in the state, adding that 4, 600 trees had been planted on road sides in the state.
Abdullahi also disclosed that 3,875 hectares of land had been demarcated in some forest reserves to prevent clash between farmers and herdsmen.
He said in the past five years, the state government, under the Agricultural Restoration Project, had generated 1, 067, 855 short term jobs and 249, 551 long term jobs.
The special adviser added that N13.1 billion was generated as income by entrepreneurs in the agriculture sector, while N393 million was also generated as income to government as taxes and levies during the period.
“Agriculture Restoration Project has brought about some significant development in the agricultural sector, but more needs to be done in order to reach the promised mark.
“Our productivity especially yield per hectare has not gone beyond 50 per cent; this means that the level of efficiency in resource utilisation in agriculture still needs to be enhanced.”