It is no longer news that Taraba State is endowed with so much natural and mineral resources which leaves one to wonder why no meaningful development has been achieved despite the state’s unique potentials.
A look at the rich soil and vast expanse of land leaves no doubt to the fact that the State stands on advantage even more in the Agro Allied Industry that when tapped, will not be out of place to refer to her as “The Food Basket of the Nation”.
The Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku’s administration is God sent to salvage the state from stagnation and waste of God given resources. This is evident through the Commissioning of the Kakara Highland Tea, Green House Farming initiative by the Governor, as well as efforts at wooing investors to the State, like the CBN assessment team on irrigation farming and others, which are steps towards the right direction.
When you observe the trucks of Rice, Yam, Fish, Goats, Cows, Pigs, Timber among others conveyed out of this State on daily basis, you cannot help but imagine the gains the State would make if there were state of the art machines to process this products as this has the capacity of not only boosting the state economically, but creating employment for the citizens as well.
A chat with a Rice farmer from Southern Taraba, identified simply as Kefas, revealed that, as an individual he makes yields of over 170 bags which he sells to those outside the state, stressing that if the government can invest in this sector, the State has what it takes to export refined Rice not only within the Nat ion but Internationally.
For instance, Southern and Northern Taraba are known for production of Rice and their women are into the Rice milling business. Unfortunately, due to lack of quality machines, Rice from this State is taken to other States, processed, packaged under various brands and brought back in polished form to be sold at exorbitant prices.
This is equally applicable to Northern, Southern and Central Taraba as producers of Yam. If the Government could invest in this area, through the provision of quality machines, the Yams produced there could be processed into pounded yam flour or the Yam flour popularly known as ‘Amala’.
This will be of advantage to farmers as it will save them loss due to lack of storage facilities,and for consumers, it will save time and energy involved in pounding Yam.
Also, in the aspect of Cassava, it is a pity that Garri consumed in the State is brought from other States. With adequate machines, not only Garri but other products like flour, ‘Akpu’, bread and others could be processed from Cassava which will be of benefit to Tarabans, Nigerians and the World at large.
Furthermore, there are high quality machines that Government could provide for the processing of Fish and meat into various edible forms which could be well packaged and exported outside this State and Country at large.
Timber is another important asset that could be developed to boost the economy as well as woo investors to the State.
Finally, this is a call to youths in the State to sit up and compliment government effort in improving the standard of the State, by participating in the developmental projects of Gov. Darius Dickson Ishaku’s Rescue Mission, through the recent provision of Institutions to train youths on the processing of Yam into yam flour and others, which will soon kick start.
Also, the Hope Afresh Foundation, the Pet Project of his wife, Barr. Anna Darius Ishaku, has put in place numerous trainings in skills acquisition on small scale businesses for women and youths.