The aim, according to the state government, is to improve the evacuation and distribution of farm produce, including livestock, from the state.
Governor Simon Lalong told reporters in Lagos that quick evacuation of farm produce would help the farmers make maximum profits from their crops and also ensure that they are sold out in good time.
Lalong observed that over the years farmers in different parts of the country have suffered transporting their produce by road, through which a substantial part of their harvest would have been lost before reaching markets in the cities.
He said as his administration’s emphasis is on agriculture and he has the mandate to assisted farmers to boost their produce by facilitating the process of their reaching their market. Hence, the plan to build perishable cargo terminal at the Jos airport, which was already designated as International Cargo Airport.
His words: “The Jos airport is already designated as international cargo airport. It is only that it has not been used for a very long time. So, when we came in we went to the place and we have it in the budget to expand the place and provide the necessary facilities so that we can use the airport properly as cargo airport.
“Secondly, we now focus on agriculture as you mentioned. A lot of farm produce comes through Jos, from Maiduguri and other parts of the neighbouring states. Jos is a transit to about five states, so all of them will pass through the airport,” he said,
Lalong added that there was need collaboration with the Federal Government on the expansion, to take full advantage of the international cargo airport.
He noted that his government is taking advantage of agriculture in the state and also the development of tourism and solid minerals, which would further boost the cargo airport.
“With counterpart funding, we want to boost agriculture development in our state. We had popular farms that were sold about 30 years ago. We want to revive these farms. We also have solid minerals. You know Jos is the home of solid minerals.
“Now with the emphasis of the Federal Government on solid minerals, we want to explore and boost our revenue with that. Solid mineral is our oil. Very soon we shall start talking about resource control. Thirdly we want to develop tourism in our state because we are blessed with good weather,” Lalong said.