More than 50,000 hectares of land have been identified and set aside by the state government across the 13 local government areas of the State for rice farming and production. Similarly, the state government after procuring 13 graders among other equipment to aid rice production, decided through the State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to choose three Pilots schools, Girls’ Technical College Agba in Ishielu local government area, Government Technical College, Abakaliki and Ehugbo Technical College, Afikpo, for the implementation of its Schools’ Agricultural programme in the State.
The purpose of the programme is to reintroduce and establish the modern methods of agricultural practices and inspire students at the secondary school level on the need for them to be part of the agricultural revolution making wave in the state.
As this agricultural policies begin to gain prominence across the state, the government has also handed over 292 hectares of land to Ebonyi state University, EBSU, Abakaliki for use as demonstration farms to grow all kinds of crops including maize, rice, tomatoes, yams among others. Mechanized system of agriculture.
In a chat with South East Voice, the State Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Barr Uchenna Orji stressed that the government was determined to boost rice production across the state adding that professionalism, commercialization and mechanized system of agriculture would be adopted as part of its work plan. According to him, no land would left fallow in the state as Governor David Umahi has exemplified same by establishing a demonstration farm within the state Government House which has began to yield dividend as crops are being harvested therein on regular basis.
He called on investors, non-governmental Organizations, NGOs, including agricultural experts to come and partner the state government in its agricultural policies geared towards boosting food production across the state. Commenting after inspecting the three pilot schools across the three senatorial zones of the State, the Chairman of the Committee on Ebonyi state School Agric programme.
Mrs. Juliet Okoro who stated that the inspection exercise was to enable the State Ministry of Agriculture identify at least 6 hectares of land in each school added that clearing and preparation of the lands hitherto identified would commence immediately for agricultural purposes. Okoro who is also the HOD Agric in the Ministry noted that it was the intention of the present administration to boost agricultural produce and instil in students the interest for agriculture through a well designed programme and mechanized system of agriculture. The Principals of the selected schools, Rev. Sister Amaka Asike, Dr. Emmanuel Ewa Ibe and Okeh Stephen Ike of Girls’ Technical College, Agba, Ehugbo Technical College, Afikpo and Government Technical College, Abakaliki respectively thanked the State government for the initiative and pledged to contribute their quota towards the success of the exercise.