Abia State Government has said that it would partner foreign investors desirous of ensuring that Agriculture gets its pride of place in the state’s economy.
Deputy Governor, Ikechukwu Emetu who stated this when members of the All Farmers Association Of Nigeria (AFAN) paid him courtersy visit at the Government House, Umuahia, disclosed that modalities were being worked out to bring in experts that would transform the various Oil Palm Estates across the state to make them viable and improve the state’s internally generated revenue (IGR) as agriculture remains the bedrock of any state or nation.
The Deputy Governor disclosed that the efforts of government in championing the advancement of agriculture and contributing to the growth of the state were yielding dividends as Abia would benefit from the 22.3 million dollars grant to Nigeria as one of the six states representing the country among the Cocoa producing states.
He underscored the need for farmers from the South East Zone to take the bull by the horns and go into full time mechanised agriculture by utilising modern technologies in agricultural cultivation to boost production for internal consumption and for exports to other countries.
Emetu reassured members of the state chapter of AFAN of government’s continued assistance to resolve all their internal problems and urged them to think out of the box by working together on ways to generate revenue and move the agricultural sector forward in the state.
Ndudim Ikelua, state chairman of AFAN, in address, said that they were the agricultural foot soldiers of the MDAs as well as an umbrella body of farmers, cooperatives, Commodity Association and agro input bodies that have members across the wards, LGAs and states of the nation.
He assured of the Association’s unalloyed support to the Otti administration, while soliciting for government’s assistance in addressing some of their challenges which include lack of farm implements and funds that would enable them drive mechanised agriculture as well as inability to participate in agricultural programmes at the national level and recovering of their properties.
Top government officials and stakeholders in the agricultural sector were present during the visit.