Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The Anambra State Government has doled out the sum of N3.8 billion for agricultural development in this year’s farming season in the state.
Out of this amount, N1.5 billion would be invested in land development, N2 billion on provision of infrastructure and N600 for the procurement of agronomical input and machineries.
Governor Willie Obiano disclosed this at the weekend at the Central School Field, Atani, the headquarters of Ogbaru Local Government Area of the state while performing the official flag-off of this year’s 2018 farming season.
He explained that he allocated such a huge sum of money to the agricultural sector because when he looked at the trend in the national economic diversification.
He disclosed that his administration’s approach to mechanised agriculture and his penchant to encourage the production of target crops for backward integration and stimulation of agro businesses and investments in agricultural sector would remain on top priority.
The governor stated that his administration has made adequate arrangements to provide more access to capital intensive farming machinery like tractors and other equipment to the farmers because according to him, it would enable them meet their targets in cultivation and production.
According to Obiano, “Efforts to make people embrace agriculture has yielded an impressive result in outgoing years where over 3,000 farmers were duly registered to bring the number from 106,000 in 2016 to 109,037, adding similarly the state government recorded an increase in the number of co-operative societies from 2,285 in 2016 to 2,401 in 2017 planting seasons, which enabled the state government to record an outstanding progress in rice, cassava, vegetable, maize, honey and fish productions.”
The chairman of Ogbaru Local Government Transition Committee, Hon. Arinzechukwu Awogu, had commended Obiano for choosing the local government as the launching pad for this year’s farming season, even as he identified Ogbaru as an agrarian locality and a food basket of the state.
Awogu described the programme as a welcome development because according to him, it would help to open up the agrarian communities especially those in rural areas, adding that farmers in those places need agricultural incentives such as loans and modern facilities to boost production as well as making many to embrace agriculture as their profession.