Ebonyi charges farmers to take agric as serious business
Farmers in Ebonyi State have been charged by the state government to take agriculture as serious business to meet international standards in food production.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chief Moses Nomeh, gave the charge during the inauguration of a three-day workshop organised by AfricaRice on Zero Hunger Project, in collaboration with IFAD-VCDP, for rice farmers and extension agents at Geneza Hotels, Abakaliki.
According to Chief Nomeh, Ebonyi State is now the highest rice producer in the whole country with four million metric tonnes based on the data sent to the state from the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.
He said the knowledge of good agronomic practices (GAP) is the most important foundation to productivity. He advised the farmers to pay attention to understanding the quality of what to produce to meet international standards in the world market, starting from land preparation, transplanting, weeding, post-harvesting, packaging, storage and sale.
He applauded the effort of the state governor, David Umahi, in reaching out to farmers through input distribution in the current farming season, and reiterated that all the beneficiaries would have a bountiful harvest that would boost food security in Ebonyi State.
Also speaking, Coordinator of IFAD-VCDP, Sunday Ituma, in appreciation, commended Ebonyi State government for supporting farmers through his office, adding that Zero Hunger Project was designed to end hunger in the entire country, he noted that it was only few states that were benefiting from the project.
Ituma added that the beneficiaries were being selected from six participating local government areas, including Abakaliki, Ikwo, Ezza North, Ohaozara, Ohaukwu and Onicha of Ebonyi State.
Other participants were the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ritamary Okoro; staff of IFAD-VCDP, led by Mr. Ituma; a team from Zero Hunger Project, led by Dr. Francis Nwailene; extension officers and farmers.