Farmers In Anambra Get Value Chain Development Training

Farmers in Anambra Anambra State Ministry of Agriculture has begun the training of over 100 farmers from the three senatorial zones of the state on the benefits of Agricultural Value Chain Development in the area of rice production.

The two-day training in Awka, done in partnership with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), exposed farmers to the strategic vision of strengthening the agricultural sector in order to achieve food security, increase production.

It will also help expand and improve rural economy for employment and income generation and most importantly, increase food exports while reducing food importation.

Pursuing Commercial Agriculture

The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Afam Mbanefo, said that the ideas generated in the training would help accelerate agricultural growth and its sustainability in line with the vision of the state government in pursuing commercial agriculture, especially in rice production.

The training would help accelerate the commercial production of rice to the point that the state would become the third producer of rice in Nigeria, Mr Mbanefo said.

According to him, the training will encourage farmers to produce more, knowing that there is a waiting market for their produce.

In the programme, the consultant trainer, Mr Aderemi Osijo, maintained that the active participation of government and off-takers, whose support in providing technical assistance and the market for the sale of the mass produced rice, would go a long way in ensuring that there would not be any missing link in the value chain.

Mr Osiji also emphasised the need for incentives in the Value chain development programme to make it attractive to people, especially youths to be part of the programme.

Farmers and off-takers expressed satisfaction at the training, maintaining that their expectations are high to see production gain momentum.

With government support and the off-takers market opportunities present, it is necessary that farmers swing into action and begin massive rice production for commercial purposes, as the value chain still revolves around benefits in terms of income generation, job creation and food sufficiency.

Imo State To Create 12,000 Jobs In 2 Years Through Agriculture

agricultureThe Imo State Government has promised to create over 12,000 jobs for its unemployed youths within the next two years through agriculture.

The State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, disclosed this in Istanbul, Republic of Turkey, after a 4-day business trip to Turkey.

Leading a delegation of businessmen from the state and some other top government functionaries, the Governor said that cardinal in his industrialization plan for Imo State, is to develop agriculture as a viable alternative to oil.

“It is necessary at this point to think more of agriculture as the mainstay of the economy which can serve as the only alternative to oil which keeps falling in value every day”, the governor said.

The Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt Honourable Acho Ihim, who was also part of the delegation, said lawmakers in the state have put in place relevant laws that will be suitable for investors to partner with the state government in her industrialization programmes.

Some other top government functionaries and Imo businessmen, who were also on the delegation, commended the Okorocha-led administration for the initiative of partnering with Turkey to industrialize the state and create more jobs for unemployed youths in the state, especially through the development of sustainable agricultural programme in all the communities of the state.

With a population of a little above 77 million as at December 2014, the agricultural sector of Turkey has been the largest employer of labour.

According to recent publication by IMF and the Economist, Turkey has become one of the few countries in the world that is self-sufficient in terms of food and also one of the largest producer and exporter of agricultural products in Europe and around the world.

Yobe State Explores Effective Irrigation Farming

irrigation farmingThe Yobe State government has constituted a five man committee mandated to design modalities for effective irrigation farming.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam inaugurated the committee on Tuesday in Damaturu the capital of the state.

He mandated the members to commence plans towards setting up irrigation farms spread across irrigation viable areas with a view to engaging 40,000 youths in the state.

The Governor also said the setting up of the task force became necessary because of the current climatic change and limited rainfall period which often had adverse effect on arable crops in the state.

According to the Governor, statistics show that vast 366,000 hectares of irrigation land abound in the state, out of which only 30,000 to 40,000 are being utilised, a situation he said his administration was determine to change.

He also revealed that between 34,000 to 50,000 hectares had been identified which could create job for hundreds of citizens in the state.

“We consider the development of irrigation as very important in the state because we can no longer continue to depend on rain-fed agriculture in view of the very serious challenges it poses to agricultural development in the state

“The situation is further aggravated by climate change, shift in growing season and limited rainfall period with the attendant effects on most arable crops in the state” the Governor said.

The state is endowed with 14 seasonal and perennial Rivers and streams with the Yobe River being the longest, covering a distance of over 200 kilometres which needs to be tapped to the fullest.

The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Gambomi Goni, thanked the Governor for considering them worthy for the appointment, saying that the assignment given to the team is a familiar terrain to all of them.

Mr Goni, a renowned agronomists, further assured the Governor that they would justify the confidence reposed in them.

The committee will identify areas to site the irrigation farms, establish major irrigation schemes, reactivate or expand farms, create employment to 40,000 youths through irrigation farming across the state and also widen or dredge Oxbow Lake and waterways across the state among others.

Yobe State is one of the three states in the north-east worst hit by terrorists’ activities in the last five years that has displaced over 1.5 million persons.

Since the price of crude oil started dropping, the need to diversify Nigeria’s economy has forced more attention on agriculture, which was the oil-rich nation’s economic mainstay before the discovery of crude.