Talata Mafara - Dr Adewumi Adeshina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said on Wednesday that President Goodluck Jonathan was committed to creating jobs and alleviating poverty through agriculture.
The minister stated this while inspecting the Bakalori Irrigation Scheme in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara.
He said: "The President is very committed to using agriculture to transform the North in particular through agriculture. You can see that these young people are engaged."
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the inspection visit was part of field trips to assess the level of success achieved in the dry season rice production scheme in Kebbi and Zamfara states.
The dry season rice production project is an initiative in furtherance of the Federal Government's Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) and the quest to diversify the Nigerian economy.
The minister, who expressed admiration of the success recorded by one of the rice farmers, Hajiya Hadiza Ladibaladi of Dankado village in Talata Mafara, added that her achievement was in line with the objectives of government.
He said Ladibaladi's ability to provide jobs for nearly 76 people and still be able to generate almost N500 000 in three months, could encourage every Nigerian to become a dry season rice farmer.
He said: "I think that Hajiya's example shows the power of agriculture to employ a lot of people; people should go into farming because with one hectare of land and three bags of fertiliser, she has achieved a lot.
"She alone is employing 76 people and taking care of 22 orphans; she has bought more farms and built a house from proceeds gotten from this farm.
"We have 38,000 farmers in Bakalori; if you multiply 76 people by 38,000 farmers, it means that we can employ more than two million people. The fastest way to create jobs is via agriculture. It is here; you can see it what they have done here.
"Look, this will reduce incidence of violence; there is no incidence of violence here; if you are engaged in productive ventures like this, you won't have time for violence. Wherever there is this kind of thing, you don't find violence."
The minister pledged that the ministry would ensure that registered farmers received farm inputs at the appropriate time to enable farmers to improve their yields.