Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
The Anambra State Government has said its achievable dream was not only to be self sufficient in agricultural production but to be a major income (domestic and foreign) earner state.
Consequently, the state has attracted over 700 million US Dollars worth of investment in large scale agriculture.
Disclosing this in a lecture he delivered at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka during the 4th Regional Food Science and Technology (REFOST) summit and Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), East Central chapter, the Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Nkem Okeke said the state government had through her policies and actions ensured that both macro and micro farming were fully encouraged.
Okeke said the investors attracted by the state included Coscharis Farms for large scale rice production and processing, Joseph Agro irrigated rice production and rehabilitation of Omor Rice Mill.
He said, “In addition state government has also improved agricultural productivity through increased budgetary provisions and reinvigoration of her ministry of Agriculture to ensure proper and adequate service delivery.”
He also said that the state government has initiated the setting up of a functional agriculture laboratory, to scale up and enhance the development of output and yield of agricultural produce, just as the statistics and planning departments of state ministry of Agriculture’s operation was being revitalised and refocused.
The Deputy Governor noted that state government’s zeal to improve agriculture through sensitization of her farmers has resulted in the free distribution of fertilizers and seedlings in 10 of the 21 local governments.
On macro and micro farming, he said the macro level has witnessed the influx of large scale farmers taking opportunity of friendly government provisions in terms of lands, road and security infrastructures to invest in the state economy through agriculture.
Speaking earlier, the National President of NIFST, Dr. Adamu, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Michael Okpara University Umudike, Prof. Madu Iwe, said the theme of the summit “Horizontal and vertical integration in food processing: a sure way to sustainable national industrial and economic growth” was apt especially with the current drive of diversifying the nation’s economy, creation of jobs and enhancing of food security.
He recommended to the authorities responsible for the concept and implementation of the laudable home grown school feeding program to partner with NIFST and its sister society, Nutrition Society of Nigerian (NSN) for optimum results and impact.
He also urged the National assembly to fast track the passage of the bill on the creation of the Council of Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology.
The Anambra Deputy Governor was at the summit given an award by NIFST-ECC as the Most Amiable and Loyal Deputy Governor and a worthy friend of NIFST.