The Sokoto State Government says it has allocated lands for the commercial cultivation of economic trees like gum arabic, moringa, date palm and shea in the state.
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal said this on Wednesday when he inaugurated the state’s annual tree planting campaign in Bodinga, Bodinga Local Government Area of the state.
“Studies have shown that some of these trees not only improve nutrition and boost food supply, they also enhance the economic conditions of farmers, especially in the rural areas.
“Such plants bring in the needed cash for sustainable development,’’ he said.
Tambuwal said that aside from these benefits, the cultivation of the trees would aid efforts to make the environment friendly and enrich the soil for improved agricultural production.
The governor said that in allocating lands for agriculture, government would also encourage the citizens to partake in the programme so as to ensure that the benefits got to as many people as possible.
“We are opening up a new corridor in fighting poverty and unemployment.
“We will support our farmers with improved seeds and technical expertise to ensure that the state derives maximum benefit from the venture.
“Planting trees will stimulate our agricultural integration policy in a sustainable way because the new policy is anchored on providing healthy environment in our localities,’’ he added.
However, Tambuwal said that the state government was worried about illegal encroachment of farmers into the forest reserves, a situation which had spurred an increase in farmers-herdsmen clashes.
He warned government officials, community leaders and other individuals to desist from encroaching into the forest reserves.
The governor assured the citizens of the state that his administration would do everything possible to ensure the success of its plans, policies and programmes.
“We have signed an agreement with the World Bank, under its Nigerian Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP).
“We have already paid our N1billion counterpart funding; so we are waiting for them to commence the implementation of the project,’’ he added.