The federal government has pledged to provide mechanised equipments to farmers in Anambra state in the near future.The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbe disclosed this during an interactive meeting.
The meeting was held between a high powered Federal Government Agric Revolution Delegation and Members of the State’s Chapter of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria.
It was held at the Omor Rice field in Ayamelum Council Area as part of activities marking a one day fact-finding visit to Anambra state by the delegation.
The equipments will include harvesters, lawn mowers, threshers and milling machines of about 5 to 10 tonnes capacity each.
According to the Minister, the equipment which will be brought in the next three weeks and will be used to boost production.
Chief Ogbe revealed that his Ministry will meet with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to work out modalities for the rehabilitation of the Lower Anambra/Imo River Basin Irrigation project at Omor.
The River Basin will provide irrigation services to the farmers for all year round rice farming.
The Minister thanked the State’s Rice farmers for keying into the vision of the Federal Government to achieve food sufficiency in rice production.
He assured them that they have chosen a means of livelihood that is sustainable and holds the key to the future.
Gov Willie Obiano in his remarks, said farmers in the State are now proud of engaging in Agriculture because of the way he has repositioned the sector.
He expressed delight for the N1.5 billion which CBN provided earlier for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.
He said his administration had put in place structure to coordinate the disbursement of the fund.
He stated that all the monies have been recovered and appealed to the apex bank to positively consider raising its support up to N5 billion.
This, he noted, would ensure that more farmers get support to boost their operations and contribute more meaningfully to the quest for food sufficiency in the country.
The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele appealed to the farmers to organize themselves in cooperatives.
Through that means, he assured, the farmers will be eligible to benefit from the CBN’s single digit rate anchor-borrowers programme.
Mr Emefiele commended Obiano for making agriculture attractive to the people.
Earlier in his address, the State Chairman of the Association, Mr Udoka Egwuatu acknowledged that they are presently recording bumper harvest due to the support of the State Government.
The high yield is especially as a result of providing improved rice seedlings and appealed to the Federal Government to show genuine commitment towards reactivating the Lower Anambra/Imo River basin irrigation project.
The farmers presented bags of “Anambra Rice” to the Minister, the CBN Governor and the Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu who were on the visit.