Benue State Government is to revive and upgrade the Agricultural Training Centre Mbatie in Buruku Local Government Area.
Governor Samuel Ortom who made the pledge during an inspection visit to the institution lamented the dilapidation of structures there and the small student population.
Governor Ortom maintained that the training centre has great potential to contribute to the development of the agricultural sector in the state, saying he will do everything possible including seeking foreign assistance to bring the school back to life.
He charged the Ter Buruku and other traditional rulers to ensure that the institution’s land was not encroached upon, assuring that the immediate community will be the greatest beneficiary when activities resume at the centre.
In a remark, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Isaac Shaapera acknowledged the resolve of the Ortom administration to revive the institution and expressed confidence in the ability of the governor to succeed even in the face of lean resources.
Ter Buruku, Chief David Afaityo, said people of the area were grateful to Governor Ortom for his good intention to revive the training centre which has almost closed down with more teachers than students.
The principal of the institution, Daniel Pila, said the institution which was established in 1955 has enormous challenges particularly in the area of infrastructure and student population adding that at the moment only the fish and grass cutter farm were operational.
Governor Samuel Ortom stressed that his administration has resolved to fully develop the agricultural sector as well as an employment and generating platform which would also ensure maximum food production for local consumption and export.
The Governor made the disclosure when he visited the Akperan Orshi College of Agriculture, Yandev maintain that the institution when properly repositioned would serve as a resource centre for mechanized farming and improved variety of crop production.
He assured that the government would move quickly to address the challenges facing the institution as soon as the economy of the state improves.
The Governor who addressed staff and students at the institution said that they have a big challenge to contribute to the achievement of his administration in the agriculture sector and enjoined them to take their duties seriously.
Earlier, Rector of the college, Engineer Samuel Ahemen said the institution which was established in 1926 by the colonial government has gone through stages of development.
He said the college has staff strength of 414, with student population of over 3000 and listed the challenges facing the institution to shortage of staff, mal-functional tractors, lack of perimeter fence and dilapidated infrastructure.