Thursday, 10 December 2015

Agriculture is my top priority —Gov. Obiano

By Okechukwu Onuegbu 

The Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano has reiterated the needs for youths to key into agriculture, even as he explained that his administration was geared to making the state Africa’s major exporter of agricultural produce.

Obiano, who disclosed this while speaking at a sensitisation workshop for media practitioners in Anambra State held on Thursday to acquaint the men of pen on FADAMA 111 Project Additional Financing, added that over 2500 youth have been trained and empowered on large scale mechanized farming.

According to the governor, who was representing by one of his aides, Mr. Obinna Emenike, Anambra state has increased its rice production capacity by 150%, and shall ensure that what he termed ‘made in Anambra rice’ floored all markets and streets this yuletide.

He further enumerated opportunities in agribusiness to include cash, job creation, poultry, livestock , fish farming, etc., and appealed to the media to help in sensitizing  the public his numerous projects on agriculture.

Speaking on a lecture entitled ‘Value Chain Development Process: Overview’, Mr. Christopher Imegwu, Project Agronomist of the World Bank FADAMA 111 project disclosed that farmers having the appropriate knowledge of what to produce help them to develop appropriate skills and techniques to produce for the appropriate markets and prices.

Imegwu also noted that value chain development in agriculture include all activities and services aimed at bringing an agricultural produce or service from conception to end-use in a particular industry beginning from input supply to production, processing, wholesale, retail and to consumption via the producer/farmer, processors, storage owners, marketers, ertenal input, communication/information, finance houses, government and others.

Similarly, he averred that rice agronomy is meant to improve productivity and maximize grain yield potential of a given variety of rice under varied cultures through practices such as preparation, seed-preparation/selection, nursery management/transplanting, water management, crop establishment, gap filling, cultural practices of rice, pests and disease control, post harvest handling techniques.

On his part, Mr. Marcel Ifediegwu while enumerating agricultural risk management approaches to include mitigation, transfer and coping, advised farmers not to fear risk because according to him, being an integral part of livelihood, risk when effectively managed brings opportunity for better livelihood.
Speaking on Communication Strategy and its Importance, Prince Nezianya Obinabo, and Mr. Gab Okpalaeze, who spoke on Use of Social Media for Effective Information Gathering and Dissemination, urged media practitioners to utilise their profession to impact positively on the masses, especially the farmers on agribusiness.

Earlier, Mrs. Evelyn Odiari, the Acting State Project Coordinator, FADAMA 111 explained that the objective of Anambra FADAMA 111 Additional Financing Project was to increase the income of farmers in the prioritized staple crop processing zones on a sustainable basis.



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