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He made this known recently in Umuahia during the flag-off of the GESS and the official proclamation of N1 billion loans that the Abia State government was giving to the practising farmers in the state.
According to Dr. Adesina, for every single farmer that wants to do rice or maize farming, President Jonathan has announced that seeds be given to them for free of charge in 50 kg bags of certified rice seeds and 40 kg bag of certified maize seeds. In the programme aimed at benefitting poor farmers, he said five million farmers are targeted for GESS which would last for over five years.
Commending Abia State government for being consistent in paying up its state’s counterpart support for FADAMA and Agricultural Transformation Agenda, the minister recognised the challenge of creating incomes and increasing benefits for all our farmers. The amount of incentives for farmers in the states, he said, are such that each farmer will pay 50 per cent of N88,000 for each package of inputs.
Recognising that Abia State produces the best cocoa farmer in the country, the minister announced the release of eight new varieties of cocoa hybrids which will be yielding 2 tonnes per hectare as opposed to the 0.04 tonnes per hectare, a difference he said was more than fivefold.
“We are distributing 25,000 pods of these hybrids for farmers in Abia State for free,” he promised.
Dr. Adesina further disclosed that $136 billion would be earned this year from cassava chips’ export. One of those poised to be involved, he indicated, was Eze Philip Ajomiwe. The conversion of residential houses to commercial or the ear- nings and wages, he reasoned, are inadequate in meeting our agricultural expectations.
Chukwu Wachukwu, a consultant on the loan and chairman of the occasion, charged pros- pective beneficiaries to identify agricultural opportunities in every local government area, using the input supply system in applying the funds and the off-takers’ system to administer the funds.
Wachukwu further said Abia State aims at over 62,000 tons of cassava tubers proc- essing, as well as 1,750 tons of rice and 2,250 crates of eggs daily.
The state’s commissioner, Ike Onyenweaku, was expecting agric-business breakthroughs, stressing that, “our extension services will be re-integrated to offer useful services to our farmers.” The commissioner also noted that a huge investment is coming into agriculture in Abia State and this is just about to begin as the state would become one of those to reckon with in agricultural productivity.
Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State, unveiled the reasons for signing an MoU with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, saying the “MoU will guarantee the collaboration of the Federal Government and Abia State that will ensure the impleme- ntation of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda in Abia State.”Share