By Umar Faruk, Birnin Kebbi
The Kebbi Government has expressed its utmost satisfaction with the significant display of agricultural progress in an Agricultural Mini-Fair showcasing the achievements of eight notable agricultural cooperatives in the state.
The event was organised by the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) with technical support from Diamond Development Initiatives (DDI) as part of efforts to transform local agriculture and empower communities.
Delivering his address in Birnin Kebbi, Mr Joel Aiki, the Permanent Secretary Kebbi Ministry of Agriculture, emphasized the state government’s dedication to ensuring the sustainability of the project.
“I have seen a display of ingenuity and creativity. These are food commodities that we produced in the state.
” I have seen improvement in production and productivity where farmers are getting one to six tones because we have adopted technology.
“It is wonderful fair, I have seen we have grown up to add value by processing commodities into different products which is going to add more income.
” I am very satisfied that the commitment of funds by the government was not a wasted value,” he said.
Mr. Aiki noted that most of the products on display could go to national and international markets.
He added that the development would spur the government to support more farmers’ groups, agric- related and agro- business enterprises in the state.
“Farm estates will be created in 2024, and we want to have three farm estates in the three senatorial district of the state.
“Each estate will have 1,000 hectares of land and we are going to start modestly and eventually expand.
” We are going to deploy modern technologies for the project to be an end- to- end technology driven production,” he said.
The permanent secretary thanked the partners for the fruitful collaboration, urging the cooperatives to sustain the enterprises and expand to reach out to international markets.
In his remarks, the Executive Director of Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) Adamu Garba, said that the mini-fair underscored the critical role of strategic partnerships in driving sustainable agricultural and economic development.
He said that the groups demonstrated how the shift from traditional methods to modern, efficient practices had enhanced productivity and livelihoods.
“Innovations such as revolving loan schemes by the Dawanau Groundnut Farmers’ Cooperative Association, Gaskiya Dairy milk production innovations, Dankwali Cluster rice revolution, Sangara’s product enhancement and diversification efforts by the Tondi Gada Women were some of the key features and success stories of the fair, illustrating the tangible benefits of the program,” he said.
Adding that the initiatives were more than agricultural ventures, but “catalysts for economic empowerment and community progress.”
He expressed gratitude to USADF and the state government for their role in “driving positive change, improving revenues, generating jobs, and enhancing life quality”.
The director said that the efforts of USADF and the state government demonstrated the potential for transforming agriculture and securing a brighter future with the right support and determination.
The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF): USADF is the U.S. government’s independent African enterprise development agency.
The agency invests in African grassroots and small- and medium-sized businesses, promotes local economic development, and creates pathways to prosperity for underserved communities.