Abia flags off 2014 cropping season

Governor Theodore Orji of Abia state has flagged of this year’s planting season with the assurance to key into agricultural transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan to turn Abia into a Food Basket of the Nation.

Speaking in Apumiri Ubakala in Umuahia South LGA headquarters, Orji said Abia was largely an agricultural state, and that his administration had since inception brought about many innovations aimed at reviving agricultural production in the state.

The theme of the year’s cropping season, “Transforming agriculture for food security” the governor said was apt, stressing that it would enhance the state’s strive towards achieving food sufficiency and security, poverty reduction and  employment generation, amongst others.

He thanked Abia farmers for re-dedicating themselves to agricultural production, explaining that before then, agriculture was relegated to the background until his administration revived oil palm plantation, rubber plantations through Private, Public Partnership (PPP), introduction of liberation farms and also gave agricultural loans to farmers in the state, while approval had been given for the establishment of such farms in Isuikwuato and Arohukwu.

Earlier, in his speech, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who was represented by his Regional Director, Dr. Uche Nwankwo, applauded Orji for keying into the federal government’s agricultural agenda to boost food production in the country.
The minister said the federal government in collaboration with Abia state government introduced protein-enriched cassava covering several acres in Abiriba, in Bende LGA of the state.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Ken Nwosu, said the launch of this year’s cropping season marked the formal commencement of the year’s farming season, adding that the government was set to help Abia farmers achieve an increased and sustainable food production all major crops, fisheries and livestock through provision of subsidies on farm input.

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