From Emmanuel Uzor, Abakaliki
Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh said yesterday, that hunger in the country will last more than expected.
Ogbeh said this when he inspected the Ebonyi State Government Demonstration Farm in Ezillo during operation ‘One man, one hectare’ agricultural programme initiated to boost agriculture in the state.
Ogbeh added that the country could still swim out of hunger and want if it pursued with determination the virtue of hardwork.
He blamed the past administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan for depending on importation and crude oil exploration, which he said, caused hunger in the country.
“Past administrations in the country depended wholly on oil and resorted to massive importation.
“The country imported virtually every item; from toothpicks to palm produce but, the country doesn’t have money again to import,” he said.
He noted that the Federal Government has decided to go into massive production with much emphasis on agriculture.
“The hunger in the land might last for a while, but soon, there will be enough food in the country and also for export.”
He advised politicians to have a ‘second address’ because political office can end abruptly while they can peacefully go into farming.
“Government will provide machines for Ebonyi State for the harvesting of rice and other farm produce and those to prepare crop nursery before planting.
“The Federal Government will inaugurate dams in all states of the country in the next two years, to ensure all year farming activities.”
He noted that wrong application of fertilisers can destroy soil nutrients and ultimately, cause poor yield of crops.
Governor David Umahi noted that the state was into agricultural revolution to make its economy self-sufficient.
“All political office holders in the executive and legislature have farmlands in this demonstration farm as the programme would be the order of the day in the state.
“We want to excel in palm produce sector as we have done in rice production, as we are going to plant the produce at 10 metres of verges of roads in state and federal roads.”
He added that all citizens of the state would cultivate at least one hectare because the government did not want any land to lie fallow.