The Anambra State Government has introduced a Community Farm Development Programme designed to provide farming input, tractor services for guaranteed market for the farmers’ agricultural produce.
Addressing farmers at a forum at the State Agricultural Development Project (ADP) conference hall in Awka on Monday, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanisation, Processing and Export, Hon Afam Mbanefo, called on farmers in the state to take agriculture very serious and to involve their children and wards in the venture, because of the immense benefits.
“Some parents discourage their children from farming because it is stressful; but today, there is money in agriculture,” he said.
Mbanefo further stated that the forum was organised to enable the ministry interact with the farmers; to explain to them the essence of the newly introduced community farm development programme, as well as how to key in and benefit from it, adding that the programme was for both commercial and small scale farmers.
The commissioner enjoined the farmers to support the programme by dedicating their time, coming together to form and register co-operatives and to develop community farms so as to achieve government’s objective to make the state one of the highest producers of rice, cassava, and maize in the country.
Also speaking at the event, the Director of Agriculture in the ministry, Mr Nnamdi Agwuncha, commended the state Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, for his support to farmers, especially for the provision of tractor services, high yielding farming inputs and off-take arrangement to avoid glut.
He called on farmers in the state to form co-operatives in order to benefit from the various agricultural programmes of the ministry which includes Fadama III (Additional financing) and Value Chain Development Programme.
In his remarks, the Programme Manager of ADP, Mr Clement Ogubue, called on the farmers to secure farm lands in various communities to enable them produce more for off-takers, who are readily available to buy from the farmers.
Ogubue further advised the farmers to come to the ministry to apply and collect agricultural lime to reduce soil acidity, and for their crops to yield properly.