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Stomach security: Inside Gov Kefas  war plan against hunger – By Emmanuel Bello 

With protests erupting around the country over the apocalyptic danger hunger has become, Governor Agbu Kefas is working round the clock to ensure Taraba state doesn’t join the infamous spectacle. In a recent interview, Dr. Kefas noted that Taraba state can feed itself and the rest of the country. It is a position he has held and believes in since the campaigns.  The governor stressed that, given the arable land in the state and the zest to farm common with the people, hunger should be an anathema in the state nick named “Nature’s gift to the Nation”!
Consequently, Governor Kefas is attacking the issue from various angles. There is the security component and the infrastructure side too to the issue. He strongly believes that unless the farms are safe from attacks, famine would always be a real danger. He is, therefore, not oblivious to the nexus between armed security and food security. “The farms must be safe,” he recently told the media, “If farmers would work hard for good harvest.”
In view of this, the militarily sound governor has not relented in securing the state and the farms. Perhaps no other governor has gone around the security circuits in Abuja to solicit support for his state as he has done. In Taraba itself, Governor Kefas has digged in deeper to secure the state by going the extra mile in Intelligence gathering and the serious funding required for safer communities.
While all these are in the works, Governor Kefas is working round the clock to ensure better yields from farms and the provision of machines that will make for bumper harvest. His tractorisation policy is aimed at delivering hundreds of motorized tractors to farmers. Fertilizers are also a major plank of the plans. Affordable and accessible, the Ministry of Agriculture in the state is leaving no stones unturned to deal with the challenge. Storage and greener energy for transportation and research are taken seriously.
Relatedly, Governor Kefas has enlisted the support of traditional rulers in this great effort. Constituting a highly powered team headed by a renowed farmer and the Emir of Muri, His Royal Highess, Alhaji Abbas Nidda Tafida, the governor doubled down on his seriousness to boost food production in Taraba state. The committee is made up of members of the State Executive Council and other Royal Fathers as well as other  leaders in the state. The choice of the Emir of Muri to head it is probably connected with the passion the monarch has demonstrated for agriculture.  The Emir is a vocal and articulate advocate for farming, often stressing that Taraba vast lands should be converted to productive farm lands. This he often says may be the only way out of youth restlessness, criminality, and the general hunger in the land.
In addition to these, Governor Agbu Kefas would soon commission the Palliatives Market in Jalingo, where food items would be sold at a discount. 80 percent of the wares in the market would be food items sold at affordable prices away from the soaring price tags in the main markets.
Moreover, the African Development Bank (AfDB) is partnering with the state to inject a whopping 100 billion naira into food production. Availability of food items will surely lower their prices with all the other domino effects for the state economy. The AfDB intervention is not unconnected with recent  pictures showing Governor Kefas conferring with the bank’s head, Professor Akunwumi  Adesina, during the AFCON tournament in Cotevoire Governance in Taraba has never been this good. Indeed, the land is literally green as far as food is concerned
Bello is Special Adviser Media and Digital Communications to the Governor


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