• Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Abia procures improved rice seedlings from Cross River

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Abia State government has procured new improved high yield breed of rice seedlings from the Cross River State government for the 2019/2020 farming season.

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu revealed this last week at the flag-off of the 2019/2020 rice farming season in the state at Bende Agro Services Rice Field, Okpotom Bende, in Bende Local Government Area of the State.

The governor urged rice farmers to make adequate use of the improved rice seedlings and rice implements his administration had provided for them and promised to support them to produce enough rice that would feed the state.

Ikpeazu, who was represented at the event by Uzoamaka Ikonne, permanent secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, stated that the state was investing in commercial farming, and advised Abians not to depend only on crude oil, as the major pillar of Nigeria’s economy, but to see agriculture as a means of employment for the teeming youths.

He noted that his administration started with palm oil revolution through the community based oil palm development with tenera palm seedlings and assured farmers in the state of the willingness of his administration to take agriculture in the state to the next level.

Okechukwu Dike, coordinator, Abia State Accelerated Rice Development Programme, assured the government and people of the State that rice importation would stop in the next two years, as Abia will be producing enough rice that would be able to feed the people and have enough for export.

He disclosed the existence of Osikapa Abia Centre in the state, where rice was milled and sold and also noted that hundreds of thousands of bags of Osikapa Abia had been sold as they were poised to produce more.

Dike appreciated Governor Ikpeazu for providing Abia farmers with farm implements and improved rice seedlings, and also commended the permanent secretary for always being available for the farmers in the state and called on the state government to help revamp the dam, which was constructed by World Bank, but is currently going moribund.

Ndudim Ikeluo, secretary, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (ALFAN) Abia State chapter, thanked the governor for his tireless efforts at promoting agriculture, particularly in rice production, and prayed that in no distant time the state would be ranked number-one in rice production in Nigeria.

He appealed to rice farmers in the state never to grow weary, but join hands with the federal and state governments to boost agriculture.

Okechukwu Christopher Akobundu, secretary, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), lauded Ikpeazu, permanent secretary, Ministry of Agriculture as well as coordinator, Abia State Accelerated Rice Development Programme, for identifying with rice farmers in the state, pledging their readiness to do more.

Highlights of the event were the ceremonial planting of rice and the presentation of farming implements and rice improved seedlings to the farmers.