ANAMBRA State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, yesterday said his administration would continue to prioritise agricultural development in its policy preferences.
Gov. Obiano stated this at Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, during the disbursement of a commercial credit scheme to registered agricultural cooperatives in the state as part of activities to mark the 2020 World Food Day and Agricultural Day in Anambra.
About N2 billion was disbursed under the scheme with each cooperatives receiving a cheque of N5 million.
The governor also distributed modern farm implements and agricultural inputs to farmers for mechanised and commercial framing. Items distributed include threshing machines which Gov. Obiano hoped would make significant contribution in the current output of rice production in the state.
The event was also used as formal flag off of dry farming season in Anambra State.
Speaking at the event, Gov. Obiano said that the state has keyed into World Bank-assisted programmes for COVID-19 action recovery plans.
According to the governor, the results would soon be seen in the two vital areas of food production and food security which are so crucial in preserving food supply chain to protect poor household against the onslaught of the global pandemic.
Explaining that his administration will continue to build on the solid foundation it had laid in agriculture as the number one pillar of his economic blueprint, the governor expressed joy that the state rice production output has raised from 80,000 metric tonnes in 2014 to 440,000 metric tonnes in 2019.
Earlier in an address, Commissioner for Agriculture, Nnamdi Onukwube, while buttressing the importance of industrial cluster farming in agricultural business, expressed joy that government had approved implementation of the short term strategy designed by the ministry towards cushioning the effect of COVID-19 in the state.
Speaking at the event, Governor Central Bank of Nigerian (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, who was represented by Sunday Ogbu pledged the apex bank’s commitment to good working relationship with Anambra State and other SMEs engaged in agriculture.