Post COVID-19: Govt allocates farmland to civil servants, others – The Plateau State government has commenced its post-COVID-19 economic recovery plan with the reacquisition of the Brewery Agro Research Company, BARC Farms in Zallaki Village in Bassa Local Government area of the State which was sold off in the 1990s.
To begin the process of making the moribund farm functional, State Governor, Simon Lalong and members of his cabinet visited the farm on Saturday to flag off the allocation of 1,000 hectares to members of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, interested civil servants, pensioners, political office holders and members of the host community under a temporary arrangement.
Governor Lalong in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham said the re-acquisition of BARC Farms was a very bold step to create jobs by reviving commercial agriculture which the farm was reputed for.
He said, “In its days of glory, the farm was into cultivation of dry and irrigated crops such as grain, vegetable and tree crops; cattle ranches; poultry farms with parent and hatchery units; piggery; abattoir for poultry, pigs and cattle; as well as operated a big dam for fishery. So far, the Government has paid N1bn for the re-acquisition of BARC Farm shares, representing about 70 percent of the total sum, and hoping to complete the balance before the end of the year.”
He expressed hope that at the long run, the Farm which has potential for occupying over 30% to 40% share of the Agro-allied market in Nigeria, will leverage on its existing structures to cultivate crops that the State has comparative advantage in.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Hosea Finangwai said Government was aware of the concerns about security and the deplorable road infrastructure leading to the farm and is already taking steps to address those fears to reassure the farmers of their safety and investment.
Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Abe Aku and the General Manager, Plateau Investments and Properties Company, Chrys Yilzak advised the people of Plateau State especially civil servants to support the Governor by embracing farming so as to create other sources of income particularly at this time when COVID-19 has greatly impacted the State’s resources.