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Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State has said that he will set up a new irrigation scheme which will engage up to 40, 000 youths across the State as part of his effort to empower youths for self-reliance.

A statement from the office of the Director of Press to the governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Bego and made available to the media recently, said, the governor, who is currently on a visit to the People’s Republic of China on the invitation of Chinese Agriculture and Infrastructure Investors, has already met and held talks with various potential investors, including an irrigation equipment manufacturing firm called Rainfine (Dalian) Irrigation Company Ltd, which specializes in the manufacturing, installation and training of people in center pivot irrigation technology in the Chinese city of Dalian.

According to the statement, Governor Gaidam has also visited a modern irrigation farm company in the town of Jixian called Tianjing Jixian Lvpusheng Vegetable Planning Company Ltd and had fruitful discussions with the farm’s Managing Director, Ms Lu Xiulung.

“Irrigation agriculture is very significant in unleashing the enthusiasm and capacity of our youth for self-reliance. We are very much committed to using irrigation as another catalyst for helping to empower our youths. This is why we came here to establish wide ranging partnerships that will accelerate irrigation agriculture in our State.

“We are particularly interested in modern centre-pivot irrigation where a single machine or a cluster of machines can irrigate large expanses of land. We can use this all year round to irrigate farmlands and produce crops that will positively impact the lives and future of our youths and improve on our economy in the long term.

“I am confident we can begin this before the year runs out; precisely within the next three months. We have it in our budget for the year and we are determined to carry it through”, His Excellency, the governor said after inspecting irrigation equipment on the factory floor of Rainfine Irrigation Company in Dalian.” The statement said.

It went on to say that Governor Gaidam has also announced the setting up of a small committee of agricultural experts, under the leadership of former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Alhaji Gambomi Goni, to work out modalities on the implementation of the partnership with Rainfine Irrigation Company, including identifying at least four locations where new irrigation farms will be set up across the State.

Also speaking, RainFine Irrigation Company’s General Manager, Mr. Wang Zhi told reporters after meeting with Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, that center pivot irrigation agriculture technologies are much more effective and cheaper than their predecessors.

He said that they take less time to set up, require less maintenance and are much easier to handle by local farmers.

Mr. Wang Zhi said he is excited to work with the Yobe State Government to boost food production in the state, and added that his company has worked previously with local and state governments in Ethiopia and the Sudan in the area of irrigation agriculture.

The governor, also met with the Chairman of China International Engineering Company Ltd, 18th Bureau Group, Mr. Peng Shigou in the Chinese city of Tianjing, to explore the possibilities of a partnership to develop and expand infrastructure in the Yobe State capital, Damaturu.

Governor Gaidam said his government will undertake an urban renewal of the state capital by building more roads and an overhead bridge in the center of Damaturu as well as provide steady and adequate water supply.

Culled from Agro Nigeria

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