Gombe State Government on has begun cultivation of over 200 hectares of farmlands for this year’s dry season farming. State Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Idris Mahadi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe, the state capital, that the farmlands were being allocated to farmers after payment of a token. Mahadi, who stated that the canals in the state were working, said the state Ministry of Agriculture had also made an arrangement to supply fertilizers to farmers. He, however, said government would not approve the request by the Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority which had applied for 40 hectares. The commissioner said government refused to approve the allocation because the farmlands would be allocated to indigenous farmers. “The farmlands are not meant for institutions, but for the indigenous farmers who live in Dadin- Kowa communities. “If we rent the farmlands to institutions, it will amount to monopoly. This is why we prefer to give them out to indigenous farmers to avoid any problem,’’ he said. Malam Ibrahim Sallau, one of the farmers in the state, confirmed that the government had allocated fertilizers to them. While saying the canals are in good working condition, Sallau commended the state government for providing inputs needed by farmers on time. “This dry season farming commenced earlier than previous years when there was a problem with the canals,” he said.