Abia partners key sectors on agric extension system
Abia State has disclosed its intention to strengthen its agricultural extension system, by partnering development partners and the Federal Government to ensure a turn-around of its economy.
The state Deputy Governor Ude Oko Chukwu, made the disclosure at the weekend on behalf of his boss, Okezie Ikpeazu at Mbalano, headquarters of Isuikwuato Local Council area.
According to him, the state has started the process of providing subsidised farm inputs to farmers, intensifying pests and disease control system as well as surveillance activities.
He added that the turn around process would include strengthening and repositioning farmers cooperative societies and commodities groups, to enable them access the numerous government loan facilities.
The exercise would be pursued through relevant commodities value chains under the state’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA).
The deputy governor said, “The state was pursuing policies and programmes targeted at driving food production as a means of economic development and employment generation.
The policies also include “wealth creation, farm inputs provision, pest and disease control services, education and rehabilitation of farm settlements that will make the state the nation’s food basket.”
Speaking on the theme of this year’s cropping season activities under the theme: “Abia Economy, Agriculture to the Rescue,” the deputy governor noted that the agricultural sector employed 60% of the people and contributes 35% to the country’s gross domestic products.
He decried the current scenario whereby Nigeria’s 90% exports were based on oil and oil-related products.