The Federal Government has said that it embarked on emergency agricultural intervention to 3,739 farmers in Abia State affected by 2020 flood to ensure better agriculture production in the state.
In a keynote address delivered at the Michael Okpara auditorium, Umuahia, Abia State by the State Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Engr. Victor Ihediwa during the Year 2021 World Food Day, informed that the affected farmers got assorted agriculture inputs and equipment.
He disclosed that other actions taken recently by the Federal Government to ensure better agriculture production in the state include, the sensitization of Stakeholders and inauguration of cadre Harmonise (CH) Analysis Taskforce in Abia State among others.
Ihediwa made it clear that if the farmers and the stakeholders concerned play their own role properly, then “we are good to go in securing a better future in Abia State”.
His words, “World Food Day is an annual celebration held on 16 October every year to commemorate the date of the founding of UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which was formally established in 1945.
“It is equally a day of bringing together government, private sectors, farmers, civil society organizations, media, academia and all individuals involved in food production, agro-allied industries, wholesalers and community-based organizations for awareness creation on the prospects and challenges of agriculture, food production and processing, malnutrition and hunger.
“The theme of 2021 World Food day “Our Actions Are Our Future- better production, better nutrition, and a better environment” is apt considering the present difficult times like the global COVID-19 pandemic, national insecurity, farmers/herder clashes, banditry, etc., and more so, seeing millions of people struggling with hunger across the globe, without adequate food to survive.
“This occasion is significant because it marks another major milestone in our drive to reflect on the past, examine the present and project the way forward for the future of food security in our Nation”.
Declaring the occasion open, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State stated that the ugly visit of the novel, COVID-19, insurgency and other similar factors negatively affected food security in Nigeria.
Represented by the Programme Manage,r Abia State Agricultural Development Programme, Chief Israel Amanze maintained that his government will continue to encourage farmers and ensure food security in the state, adding that the government has successfully raised and distributed two million genetically improved tenera seedlings to farmers in a secured and enabling environment.
According to the Abia chief executive, through the payment of the counterpart funds, the government activated World Bank supported Agricultural programmes like FADAMA lll Ncares and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
Ikpeazu further disclosed that Abia was among the first states to key into the CBN Oil Palm Belt programme of the Federal Government, revealing that the government has also distributed over 3 million improved cocoa seedlings to farmers.
On partnership, the governor said that the government is partnering with some organizations and agencies to enhance Agricultural programmes as well as train the youth, pointing out that his administration will not relent in his efforts to invest in Agriculture to enhance food security and Agricultural activities in the state.
It will be Recalled that recently, Ikpeazu had discussions with the French Minister of Trade and Commerce, France Riester when he led a delegation to attend for Livestock Summit organised by the French Embassy in Nigeria.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Abia State Ministry of Agriculture, Sir Charles Agbara described the event as a unique one, following the fundamental role agriculture plays in human survival if it is given the attention it deserves by the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.