Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, has ordered the cultivation of over 900 hectares of farmland across three Local Government Areas of the state in a move to tackle the lingering crisis in the area.
The PUNCH reported that in the last three months, more than 300 persons had been killed in the Mangu LGA of the state and the neighbouring communities following a series of attacks by gunmen.
Over 30,000 residents had also been displaced following the crisis, which has been attracting condemnation from Nigerians.
Speaking with journalists on Sunday, after the official flag-off of the farming intervention that took place at LigitLubang Community, the Managing Director of the Agricultural Services and Training Center in the state, Dr. Susan Bentu, said the governor directed the intervention to cover communities affected by the attacks and farm destruction.
Bentu said, “The Plateau State Government is partnering with the ASTC to cultivate lands in these areas that suffered from the unfortunate attacks, resulting in the displacement of numerous farmers from their lands.
“The farming intervention will be extended to four communities in Riyom Local Government Area, one community in Barkin Ladi, and 14 others in Mangu LGA. With this initiative, the Plateau State Government aims to provide much-needed support to the affected communities, helping them rebuild their lives and regain hope for a better future.
“The government’s initiative comes as a respite for these communities, as His Excellency Governor Caleb Mutfwang approved the cultivation of 900 hectares of land across three local government areas: Mangu, Barkin Ladi, and Riyom LGAs.
“The primary objective of this intervention is to enable farmers in these affected communities to salvage what remains of the farming season and prevent their farmlands from going to waste. The state government has also responded to the appeal made by farmers by providing security for the cultivated crops, encouraging displaced persons to return to their homes.
“Despite the advanced stage of the farming season, the government has directed the planting of some late crops, such as beans and soybeans, which are expected to perform well. This move demonstrates the government’s commitment to support and revitalise the agricultural sector in the conflict-affected regions.”
The Deputy Commandant and Head of Agro Rangers, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Plateau State Command, Olusola Bakare, assured farmers that his team was fully mobilised to protect and secure the farmlands.
“The Agro Rangers, specialized trained personnel, will ensure that the crops are shielded from further destruction,” he said.
In his response, the representative from the traditional council and the Chairman, Mwagavul Development Association, Bunga District, Mr. Dafwat Nanribet, thanked the state government for the intervention.
“After witnessing the destruction of all their cultivated farms earlier in the year, the communities are relieved that the government is taking steps to address their hardships through farming intervention.”