Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra on Monday commenced the distribution of inputs to 365 rice and cassava farmer organisations in eight local government areas of the state.
Speaking during the distribution of the inputs at Omor, Ayamelum Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, Obiano said that the gesture was designed to boost rice and cassava production in the state.
He said that the inputs were provided by the state, in conjunction with the International Fund for Agriculture-assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), in pursuit of food security.
The governor, who was represented by Mr Obioma Mbanefo, his Special Assistant on Agriculture, said that government decided to subsidise the inputs in order to make them affordable to farmers.
“We are happy that you are receiving these inputs today. The essence is to improve farming activities to ensure food security in the state.
“This administration is keen on developing the scope of farming, which is why we engage and support agencies that will help to boost the agricultural sector,” Obiano said.
He promised to sustain the payment of the counterpart fund for the programme to enable the state to continue to benefit from it.
The state Programme Coordinator of VCDP, Mr Nnamdi Agwuncha, listed the benefitting LGAs to include Ayamelum, Awka North, Orumba North, Orumba South, Anambra East, Anambra West, Ihiala and Ogbaru.
Agwuncha said that of the 365 farmer organisations, 248 were rice farmer groups, while others were cassava farmers, occupying about 1,438 hectares of farmland.
He said that each of the organisations would receive four bags of NPK fertilisers, two bags of Urea, 50kg of rice seedlings and agro-chemicals per hectare, all at the cost of N43,750.
The coordinator urged farmers to ensure appropriate use of the inputs to enable them to have higher yield during harvest.
A beneficiary and rice farmer, Mrs Ngozi Osankwe, expressed happiness over the gesture and urged VCDP and state government to sustain the gesture.
Also, Mr Peter Emeka, Chairman, Apex Group in Ayamelum council area, commended the state government and VCDP for the assistance.
Emeka said the programme would have impact on farmers, pointing out that farmers, who harvested five metric tonnes per hectare last season, would likely harvest at least seven metric tonnes this time. (NAN)