The Jigawa State Government says some farmers in the state have begun to grow Chinese brand of potato in four local government areas.
Alhaji Hamza Muhammad, the Special Assistant to Governor on Community Affairs and Social Inclusion, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Dutse.
Muhammad said out of the 60 hectares earmarked for the pilot scheme in the four local government areas, 56 hectares have been taken.
He said the first participants included farmers from Gwaram, Kirikasamma, Kazaure and Dutse local government areas of the state.
According to him, the potato, which was planted in September, would be harvested in January 2018.
Muhammad explained further that with the introduction of the new variety of potato by the state government, farmers could plant and harvest potato three times annually.
He said: “We want to engage our farmers in agricultural production all year round, that is to say they farm during rainy, dry seasons and harmattan period.
“And that is why the government will continue to introduce different variety of crops to our farmers for cultivation.”
Muhammad pointed out that the youths willing to venture into growing the Chinese brand of potato would be supported by the government, saying youths need to be encouraged to go into agricultural production for self-reliance.
He said: “The government is also doing this in order to make agriculture attractive to our teeming youths.
“I believe this will enable the government check unemployment and restiveness among them.”
He, therefore, urged farmers to capitalise on various agricultural initiatives of government to better their living standards and boost the internally generated revenue of the state.
He urged youths in state to venture into farming so as to benefit from government’s agricultural policies geared towards reduction of unemployment.
Muhammad said: “If our youths will endeavor and venture into agriculture, I am sure that will boost food security in our immediate communities, the state and the nation in general.”