Ogbeh Flags of One-Man One-Hectare Agric Scheme

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[R-L] Governor Umahi and Ogbeh, at the flag-off of the one-man, one-hectare agricultural programme of Ebonyi State

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AUDU Ogbeh, minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, on Monday, September 5, flagged of the Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State’s one-man, one hectare agricultural programme in the state.

The occasion which was witnessed by Isaac Adewole, minister of Health, was kick started with the planting of palm trees at Ezillo Farm and a symbolic tree of peace at Ishielu Local Government Area headquarters. The symbolic tree was to commemorate a peace agreement between Ezillo and Ezza-Ezillo.

Speaking at the Abakaliki Township Stadium, where thousands of women and youths had gathered to witness the event, Ogbeh pledged federal government’s support to Ebonyi State in its agricultural programme.

He said: “We are going to bring machinery here. We hope that before we round up, there will be a major industrial starch plant in this state. We also believe that we will let you have some cassava flour processing plants, especially for cassava, fufu ,very nice food to eat. We shall bring you another crop, cashew nut, because the demand for cashew nut in the international market is high. You are famous for rice production, but you are going to be more famous when we bring our programme for implementation.

“Today, I assure you that we shall join hands with you to make your rice production plan work. We shall make sure you get the best seed, especially, the F.44. It is about the national standard we have because in Nigeria today, there are over 70 varieties of rice. We cannot grow all.”

The minister, who also promised to bring rice harvesters and threshers to Ebonyi State, commended Governor Umahi for the robust agricultural programme, especially the one-man, one-hectare policy.

Governor Umahi (4th left); Ogbeh (left); Deputy Governor Kelechi Igwe (3rd left); wife of the Chief Judge of the State, Lilian Nwankwo; and one of the beneficiaries of the state's Youth and Women Empowerment Programme
Governor Umahi (4th left); Ogbeh (left); Deputy Governor Kelechi Igwe (3rd left); wife of the Chief Judge of the State, Lilian Nwankwo; and one of the beneficiaries of the state’s Youth and Women Empowerment Programme

Challenging politicians and civil servants to have a second address in agriculture, he said that poverty in the country was not acceptable.

He explained that there was hunger in the country today because Nigerians had been lazy in the past by focussing on oil and importation of everything, including toothpicks.

“What your governor is doing is going to be strongly supported by us. We shall support you with good seeds. And before the year runs out, before the rice harvest, we shall bring in small machines to help you harvest your rice. And for those of you civil servants, politicians and so on going to agriculture, please, take it a business seriously,” a statement by Emma Anya, Umahi’s chief press secretary, quoted the minister as saying.

Ogbeh later gave out a symbolic cheque to one of the beneficiaries of the state’s youth and women empowerment programme, told the youth that the governor, had by his actions “handed over the key to prosperity” to them.

Umahi had in his opening remarks explained that the agricultural programme was aimed at ensuring food security for the state and the country. He said his administration had among others, procured 40 tractors, distributed farm seedlings and gotten soft loans for genuine farmers in the state.

—  Sep 6, 2016 @ 17:58 GMT

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