Traditional ruler calls for investment in agriculture, solid minerals

Rebecca Mu’azu, Gombe

With the present drive by the Nigerian Government to change the total dependence on oil revenue, a traditional ruler in Adamawa State, His Royal Highness, the Gangwari Ganye, Alhaji Umaru Adamu Sanda, is calling on the federal and state governments to invest in agriculture and solid minerals in his chiefdom.

The Gangwari Ganye, told Voice of Nigeria in Ganye, that with the present ban placed on rice importation, there were so many people showing interest in rice farming in the Chiefdom.

He also said his chiefdom, referred to as the Food-Basket of Adamawa state, could produce a lot of food to feed, not just the state, but the country as a whole.

The Gangwari Ganye said now was the proper time for governments to empower the chiefdom, where they would reap bountifully in diverse investments in agriculture and mineral resources.

”I can say proudly that we are tagged as the Food Basket of Adamawa State and then the solid minerals. We have very big, mountains; our terrains are very difficult ones. So I am appealing to the government to pay more attention in generating more revenue in this area, because our people, about 90 per cent are involved in farming, in agriculture in short. And then the land is quite fertile. There is no crop that cannot be grown here. And if we tell people that we grow cocoa, there is cola nuts and all whatnots, Irish Potatoes, people tend not to believe it, but once they come here they know that this is an agricultural area. Not only that, the Federal Govertnment now pays more attention on agriculture and solid minerals. If the state and Federal Governments can pay attention to Ganye Chiefdom, definitely it will not only feed Amadawa State, but Nigeria at large,” the Gangwri Ganye said

His Royal Highness, Alhaji Sanda, said one of the ways to improve food production in the area was by providing inputs and extension services to farmers.

The Paramount Chief of the Ganye Chiefdom said, because variety of food and agricultural crops could be grown in the area, investors would surely yield bountifully, while the host communities and the country as a whole would benefit.

“We always emphasise on cooperative that the local farmer should be involved, so that whatever benefit that they get from here, the local farmer will also benefit, the host community will benefit, the investor will also benefit, said the Gangwari Ganye.

The Gangwari Ganye said states and local governments should go back to holding agricultural shows to encourage interaction between farmers from different places and encourage technology transfer.

“Gone were the days of primitive production of farm produce, now technology has overtaken the way things are done. Even though Agric shows are being held, the states and local governments should go back. Because of recent I think it was done in Abuja and other places that they have been doing it, unfortunately for the past few years they have not been paying more attention to agric shows. That is where farmers will interact with each other; they will borrow new technology from other parts of the country or the state,” he said.

The Gangwari Ganye said the Chiefdom had a larges national park, the Gashaka Gumti National Park and that a reasonable percentage of that was located in the Ganye Chiefdom.

He however said most importantly, the governments should monitor the activities of illegal miners in the chiefdom, because of the rich natural endowment there.

Gangwari Ganye said “concerning the solid mineral resources, I want the governments to pay more attention to it because some illegal miners are benefiting more than the government and the host community.

So if the government can make some laws and make sure that they invite investors in participating in mining activities, definitely the host community will benefit, Adamawa State Government will benefit  and then the country at large will benefit, because from the preliminary investigations, we learned there are a lot of solid minerals

They mention diamonds, gold, Uranium, and so on and so forth, but we do not know if it is of commercial value or not, but if illegal miners are coming in and then mining, then I think there’s something very tangible and attractive in this area.”

The Ganye Chiefdom is made up of three local government areas of Adamawa State, Ganye, Jada and Toungo, by the border with Cameroon, with the mountains surrounding most of the areas.

90 per cent of the people are farmers of almost all kinds of crops and plants, while the mountains, according to research are rich in mineral resources.

In the meantime, he called on the people of the chiefdom to always live in peace and also be productive citizens, by developing skills in different areas, so that the land will in turn be developed.

He particularly appealed to the youths to read extensively to make sure that in the not too distant future, the chiefdom would have professors in all fields, to develop the land.