From Magnus Eze, Enugu
Enugu deputy governor, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, has said that the state is partnering Agro-Processing, Productivity, Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) to engender food security.
The state government, Ezeilo stressed, was committed to ensuring food security through enhancement of agricultural productivity as a principal aspect of the eight-point development agenda of the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi administration
Declaring open a seminar for the Pre-Sixth Implementation Support Mission and Team A Zonal Wrap-up in Enugu, she emphasised that the foregoing objective motivated the Ugwuanyi administration to consider the World Bank-assisted project as a major vehicle for the realisation of the lofty idea and came earliest among the participating states to launch the project.
Earlier, the National Coordinator of APPEALS Project, Mohammed Sani Jobdi, disclosed that the body places emphasis on adding value to agricultural products because it expects the project’s beneficiaries to stand on their own at the closure of the project in 2023.
Jobdi said that it was not just enough to give inputs to farmers and overlook the processing, storage and marketing aspects of the products, since it was the value of the product that will enhance the farmers’ well-being and continuous production.
He said: “We try to emphasise value addition because we are conscious of the fact that apart from production, why most of our products are not selling very well or farmers are not getting higher premium for their produce is as a result of the issue of poor value additions. So APPEALS being conscious of that, we try to improve on the value addition right from the aspect of the harvest to post-harvest handling, processing, storage and marketing.”