By Douglas Okoro
The Ebonyi Government says its agricultural programme tagged, “One-man, one-hectare’’ has boosted food production across the state.
Chief Ikechukwu Nwabo, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abakaliki.
The `One-man, one-hectare’ agricultural programme was launched in Abakaliki in September 2016.
Nwabo said that the Dave Umahi-led administration procured 40 multi-purpose tractors, distributed farm seedlings and gave out soft loans for genuine farmers under the programme.
He said that the programme was aimed at encouraging participation of the youths in agriculture, adding that there was hunger in the country today because Nigerians were paying little attention to agriculture.
“Poverty in the country is not acceptable, what our governor is doing is to revolutionise the agricultural sector, make more profit and get more people participate in agricultural production.
“The governor is investing so much in agriculture especially in rice, cassava, livestock production and in agro industries and the state is providing good rice seedlings, cassava stems to farmers.
“We have a lot of uncultivated arable lands and our commitment is to ensure that every arable land in the state is put into agricultural purposes.”
The commissioner also said that fertiliser distribution was being strictly monitored to ensure that it get to the real farmers at government’s subsidised rates.
“We shall ensure that fertilisers are distributed to our local farmers at government’s approved price to avoid exploitation of these farmers by middle men.
“We encourage farmers to form cooperative societies to enable them benefit from government’s agricultural loans and other incentives,” he said.
The commissioner also said that no fewer than 20, 000 farmers were profiled under the phase one of the 2018 farming season.
He said that the farmers were expected to cultivate about 29,437 hectares.
The “One-man, one-hectare’’ agricultural programme was launched in Abakaliki in September 2016.