SPECIAL Assistant to Gov. Willie Obiano on Agriculture, Obinna Efobi, has disclosed the state government’s commitment to improving the production of rice, cassava and other produce.
“So what we are doing is the distribution of agric. inputs which targets people and makes sure that they use all those viable inputs like cassava, maize, rice, among others so that their productivity will be higher than what it used to be”.
He said this during the launching of 2020 Farming Season in Anambra State at Ihiala Local Government Area Headquarters, adding that “because of the pandemic, we have to break it down in respect to World Health Organisation standard for social distancing and we are bringing it down to local governments and today, we are in Ihiala to officially launch this year’s farming season and we have with us the inputs we are going to distribute to farmers, agricultural inputs which includes, rice, maize, okro, organic fertilizer and few other things also.”
Mr. Efobi, who officially handed the inputs over to the local government for distribution to the farmers, said it was the government’s way of reaching to the grassroots on yearly basis. “It is important for us in the agric sector as commanded by the governor, asking farmers to go back to farm just to make sure we don’t starve next year…”
The S.A also said that what “we observed is that people do not use seeds that are viable over the years but what we are giving is adequate seeds that is certified, to make sure that whatever that is put in the ground yields bountifully and also, we gear towards export.
Also, we are encouraging people to use organic fertilizer and make sure they adopt proper spacing, and weeding the farm, so that the present yields will not be what it used to be before”.
In his speech, Transition Committee Chairman of Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, Greg Okafor said “the agricultural input comes at the beginning of farming season for our people among other things.
My passion is palm produce processing because that is what I saw my father do in a very local level, but I want to do it in a mechanized way. In fact, I want to do it as my retirement business. But because of this assignment and as I am talking, we are installing machines at my oil mill and I want everything mechanized.
I do not want to go into producing the palm product but only processing. I don’t want to be a white collar person because I was brought up in the village…”.
Director, Technical Services of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export, Emeka Okoli, thanked the Chairman, Ihiala Local Council, and said that the state was very happy with people like him, because one of he problems we are facing in this state is lack of processors… I advise that you encourage your colleagues and our big brothers who can afford the machines to please assist us.
What makes our farmers run away from the business is that they produce and no buyer, but now you are mounting your machine, it will not lie waste because you go everywhere to buy nuts. The moment you are doing it, farmers will continue selling, and as well, grow more cassava, plantain, sweet potato and maize…”
In a related development, farmers from all communities of Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State have applauded Government of Anambra State over impressive performance in agriculture.
They made the commendation while sharing farm inputs from the state government given to them as incentives to boost farming at the Agric Department of the LGA on Monday.
Items shared include 25 bundles of cassava stems, two bags of organic fertiliser, two bags of agric lime, three bags of hybrid maize.
Others are a bottled crop enhancer activator, one bottle bio powder plus (Organic fertiliser) to each community of the LG.
Head of Agric Department, Aguata LGA,Ifeoma Iloyalu, who supervised distribution of the items expressed satisfaction at the peaceful conduct of community representatives that received them.
The HOD admonished farmers to take advantage of the inputs to boost their yield in the area.
She took time to educate farmers on how best to space the cassava stems during planting to achieve maximal harvest.
According to her, pesticides and other agro chemicals are good, if they are used in line with specification.
“So, take note of all the instructions given to you on uses of the items that you have.
“If you are confused at any point, please come back to our office and ask questions.
“It is common knowledge to all of us here that Government of Anambra State cannot take food to every home. Yet, with this farm inputs, she has brought food to our homes.
“So, share it to other farmers and ensure that the items are used accordingly,” she said.
Mrs Iloyalu enjoined farmers to keep COVID-19 protocols as stipulated by World Health Organisation (WHO), Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and Anambra State Government to stay alive and enjoy this year’s harvests.
Mr Emmanuel Nwosu, Mr Sunday Ezenwata, Mr Emmanuel Onyeka Okeke and Mr Declan Ezeanya, stood in for Nkpologwu, Akpo, Ezinifite and Amesi respectively.
They commended the government for making the items available, promising to share them to deserving farmers peacefully.
They prayed God to keep Gov. Willie Obiano in good health and sound mind for more of these laudable initiatives.