Ebonyi to launch one man, one hectare agric programme in August
The Ebonyi government says it will launch an agricultural programme tagged, ‘one-man-one hectare’ in August to enable its citizens participate actively in its agricultural revolution.
Gov. David Umahi made the declaration on Thursday in Abakaliki during at agricultural summit organised for civil and public servants in the state.
According to him, emphasis would be placed on rice production as civil and public servants would join other strata of the society in cultivating at least one hectare of rice farm yearly.
“The state is fast losing its rating as the highest rice producing state in the country, but the government is determined to halt the slide.
“The government is planning to introduce six mega-rice cities in the state and any Local Government Area (LGA) that covers 5, 000 hectares of land for rice production would benefit from the interventions.
“We would inaugurate irrigation facilities, social amenities, rice husk power plants, rice mills, among others, in such areas with active collaboration of the World Bank and the Central Bank of Nigeria,” he said.
The governor urged civil servants to key into the agricultural revolution, adding that N1billion has been earmarked to support farmers in achieving massive crop production.
“We have provided improved seedlings, soft loans, fertilizers, among others, to farmers while the state has been covered in the various agricultural policies of the Federal Government.
“Rice farmers now have improved proceeds from their rice production activities as the federal government has ensured that the era of importing chaffs in the name of foreign rice is gone.
“That is the reason for the adoption of mechanized form of agriculture in our revolution plans, as it will lead to commercial production with the procurement of modern equipment such as tractors and harvesters.''
Chief Frank Ogbuewu, a former Nigeria's Ambassador to Greece urged civil servants to embrace agriculture as an alternative source of livelihood.
“I have occupied top political offices in the country but still embraced agriculture with the cultivation of over 110 hectares of land yearly.
“The government however, should provide farmers with necessary incentives such as soft loans, fertilizers, seedlings, good roads to convey farm produce, available markets for produce, among others,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Uchenna Orji, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, urged civil servants to identify with the programme for the overall development of the state.
Dr Chamberlain Nwele, the Head of Service, said civil servants were mobilised for the programme to enable them go back to the farm.
Mrs Kate Ekpa, a civil servant, commended the government for the initiative and called for more motivation to ensure maximum participation.