In a bid to alleviate the plight of conflict-affected communities in Plateau State, the government has taken a significant step by providing farming interventions to Mangu, Riyom, and Barkin Ladi communities. These areas have recently witnessed devastation caused by conflicts, leading to the destruction of farms and disruption of livelihoods.
The official flag-off of the farming intervention took place at Ligitlubang Community in Mangu Local Government Area. Dr. Susan Bentu, the Managing Director and CEO of the Agricultural Services and Training Center and Marketing Ltd (ASTC), revealed in an interview with journalists that Governor Caleb Mutfwang directed the intervention to cover communities affected by recent attacks and farm destruction.
Dr. Bentu stated that the Plateau State Government has commissioned the Agricultural Services and Training Center and Marketing Ltd (ASTC) ASTC to cultivate lands in areas that suffered from the unfortunate attacks, resulting in the displacement of numerous farmers from their lands.
“The government’s initiative comes as a respite for these communities, as His Excellency Governor Caleb Mutfwang approved the cultivation of 900 hectares of land across three local government areas of Mangu, Barkin Ladi, and Riyom LGAs in the first phase of the intervention” Bentu stated
She said the primary objective of this intervention is to enable farmers in these affected communities to salvage what remains of the farming season and prevent their farmlands from going to waste. The state government has also responded to the appeal made by farmers by providing security for the cultivated crops, encouraging displaced persons to return to their homes.
Despite the advanced stage of the farming season, the government has directed the planting of some late crops, such as beans and soya beans, which are expected to perform well. This move demonstrates the government’s commitment to support and revitalize the agricultural sector in the conflict-affected regions.
The Deputy Commandant Head of Agro Rangers, NSCDC Plateau State Command, Olusola Bakene, has assured farmers that his team is fully mobilized to protect and secure the farmlands. The Agro Rangers, specialized trained personnel, will ensure that the crops are shielded from further destruction.
Representative from the traditional council and the Chairman Mwagavul Development Association, Bunga District, Mr Dafwat Nanribet expressed his gratitude to the government’s intervention. He said after witnessing the destruction of all their cultivated farms earlier in the year, the communities are relieved that the government is taking steps to address their hardships through farming interventions.
Some of the farm owners at the cultivation intervention sites including, Elder Ezekiel Dashial and Mr Nanribe Samuel shared their various ordeal and how they suffered attacks on the farmlands and were forced to abandon their crops due to the incessant attacks.
The however said they were overjoyed with the initiative as it has restored their hope and further boosted their confidence that the government was putting efforts to ameliorate their sufferings.
The farming intervention will be extended to four communities of Jol, Kwi, Rim and Bachit in Riyom Local Government Area , Sho community in Barkin Ladi, and 14 others namely Aloghom, Gaude/Kinat, Bwai, Sabon Layi, Mangul- Kantoma Bakin Hanya, Jwakkom/ LigitLubang, kombun,Daika(ATughun), Dangdai and Gyembwas in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau state.
With this initiative, the Plateau State Government aims to provide much-needed support to the affected communities, helping them rebuild their lives and regain hope for a better future.