Ebonyi State Government has revved up its agricultural programme by mapping and allocating land to the members of the Executive Council (EXCO).
The event, which took place at Ezillo Government Farm, in Ishielu Local Government Area, is the first phase of Governor David Umahi’s policy to involve every segment of the society in massive rice production.
Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Uchenna Orji, led the team comprising Agric Extension workers and officials of IFAD to carry out the exercise last Saturday.
Orji, according to a statement yesterday by Emma Anya, the governor’s chief press secretary, 140 hectares of land were allocated to cabinet members for the cultivation of rice under the Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society Ltd in line with IFAD requirement for co operative system and the CBN. The remaining 1,360 hectares were set aside for other cooperative societies and individuals that have already keyed into the policy through the IFAD and CBN-anchor borrowers programme.
Orji, who described the agric programme of the Umahi administration as all inclusive, said tractors would be mobilised to the site immediately in line with the governor’s vision of massive rice production for commercial quantity.
“We do expect that through the Senior Special Assistant on rice production, Chief Itakpa Azobu, that on Monday, July 4, tractors would have been mobilised.
“It is in line with the governor’s vision that we should not only go into mechanisation of farming, we should go commercial. We are going to express that this 2016 farming season.”
Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Senator Emmanuel Onwe said it was the executives’ decision that any individual of mature age, whether government appointee or civil servant, must cultivate at least one or two hectares of land to boost agriculture in the state.
Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Ebonyi State University, Prof. Folusho David commended the state government’s agricultural policy and called on government to continue sensitisation of farmers in the area.
Other executive members who spoke on the ocassion were Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Obinna Nwachukwu, Commissioner for Education, Prof.John Eke, Commissioner for Justice, Augustine Nwankwagu, Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Rice Production and Senior Special Assistantto the governor on Infrastructure Development, Chief Ali Odefa
They said the executive was poised to demonstrate to the world that Ebonyi State is a rice producing state.
Commissioner for Border Peace and Conflict Resolution, Mrs. Elizabeth Ogbaga, who spoke on behalf of female executive members said tomato production would be their own major area of concern. The Sun