Isa Gusau, Maiduguri: A computerized net house, measuring 53,000 square meters, believed to be the largest in sub Saharan Africa is currently at advanced stage courtesy of Governor Kashim Shettima’s drive to reposition Borno’s economic potentials through Agriculture. The plan is part of the Government’s response to destructions of livelihoods by Boko Haram insurgents across the State.
Governor Shettima inspected the site of the fully funded Government project located opposite the State University at Jimtilo, few kilometres from Maiduguri city centre.
The net house It is being designed as a retractable net house measuring about 53,000sqm (5.3ha). It possesses a dual operation drip irrigation process, and a factory for production and fabrication of drip line and emitters at the site to ease maintenance and operation of drip systems and long term sustainability of the project.
Engineer Ibrahim Ali, Honourary Adviser on Agriculture, told Shettima at the site that by design, the net house is to be operated and driven by instruments of sustainability – a closed loop system that ensures sustainability of crop production within the net house.
It also consists of a tomato processing plant where waste will be reduced and the effect of seasonal glut on tomoto price fluctuations completely eliminated, adding value to the product (tomato), Ali also informed the Governor.
The net-house will generate more jobs and income for the State, so also boost tomato production, and significantly contribute towards tomato paste import substitution in Nigeria. It will also be used to produce seedlings, grow young plants, other food crops, sea foods, trees for reforestation, ornamental trees and many others for the betterment of the populace.
With skill training for workers to be able to run and operate the net house with minimal supervision or technical assistance from component manufactures, it is fabricated by Borno hands, creating more job opportunities in the value chain from production, maintenance, packaging, transportation and marketing, not forgetting the solar panel fabrication plant for sustainable uninterrupted power supply for the net house.
With the associated solar/inverter energy systems installation, more skill acquisition, and opportunities for Borno youths.
This project alongside the State’s new industrial hub consisting of brand new factories and is to being fast tracked to make for commissioning soon.