Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy of Taraba State. Therefore, the Rescue Team shall develop agriculture as a business through:
Commodity Value Chain Development
We shall embark on development and enhancement of a demand-driven, private-sector-led, commodity value chain for food and cash crops in order to link producers to markets using the ‘Centralized or Concentric Enterprise (CEY model or the ‘Nucleus Estate Initiative (NEI)’ model (Figure 1 , below), which dwells on a private processor or sponsor organizing an out-grower scheme that will engage the community and boost new generation farmers (NGF), as well as enrol organized subsistence farmer clusters that will supply produce for value addition and marketing.
Agricultural mechanization shall be encouraged through coop societies, commodity-based associations, or village and com clusters of subsistence farmers, to access tractors and implements i to boost production of selected food and cash crops based on demand.
Beef and Dairy Production
- We shall develop the existing gazetted grazing reserves and facilitate the establishment of cattle ranches within the reserves to discourage transhumance activities as a strategy to mitigate the incessant farmers and herders conflicts. The cattle ranches will be integrated with breed improvement, animal husbandry, feeds and feeding, peri-urban and small holder schemes, to boost dairy and beef production. The objective is to substantially increase beef and dairy for intra- and inter-state commerce, as well as supply livestock-based agro-allied industries with raw materials.
- We shall embark on re-seeding and reclamation of the Mambilla pasture land through an Accelerated Pasture Development Programme (APDP), (to improve free-range livestock production and enhance the scenic the Mambilla landscape.
- We shall facilitate the development of enterprises and value chains around the by-products of increased livestock production such as hides, skins, hooves, horns, blood, and bone meals.
Coffee and Tea Production
- We shall rehabilitate and accelerate the production, processing, and marketing of premium Coffee Arabica and the unique Highland Tea for in-country and export markets. This will maximize the utilization of the mini hydro-power plant in Kakara, whose installation I facilitated in 2012 as Minister of state for Power.
- We shall solicit the support of the Federal Government to instate a tea development policy and to consider banning importation of tea to boost local production.
Agro Allied Industries
- We shall encourage the establishment of private-sector-led, agro-allied industries by providing strategic infrastructure. The industries will serve as the nucleus that will drive and sustain development of commodity value-chains for selected cereals, legumes, tubers, fruits, and vegetables, using the aforementioned CE or NEI model.
- We shall identify key stakeholders, build and strengthen their capacity, create enabling business environment, and facilitate linkages to generate employment, create wealth, and boost the state’s IGR in line with the Rescue Agenda.
- We shall encourage demand-driven, private sector—led, plantation farming predicated on the aforementioned mechanization programme, and the CE/NEI model, to boost production and supply of substantial quality raw materials to agro-allied industries.
- This strategy will boost the economy through increased income at individual and corporate levels, generate jobs, create wealth, and boost the revenue base of the state.