The Enugu State Government has distributed quality agricultural inputs for dry season farming to two thousand poor and vulnerable farmers in the rural areas, under the World Bank-Assisted CARES Programme.
Speaking during flag-off of the distribution of the agricultural inputs which ranged from cassava stems, rice seeds, fertilizer and herbicides, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who was represented by his deputy, Hon. Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo, stated that the intervention was aimed at boosting agricultural productivity, employment generation and stimulation of rural economy.
The deputy governor disclosed that the event was informed by a key pillar of the CARES programme which recommends support to farmers with quality farm inputs such as high yielding seed varieties in order to ensure sustainability of food production as well as livelihoods of farming families.
“The improved inputs for distribution in this event were acquired by the state government in line with the recommendation of the State CARES Committee that the agricultural inputs intervention targets agriculture value chains in which the state has comparative advantage, namely rice farming and cassava farming”, she explained.
Disclosing that the exercise will be replicated in the other two senatorial districts, Mrs. Ezeilo added that the initiative was to mainly reach the poor and vulnerable farmers “for economic empowerment, poverty alleviation, reduction of conflict-inducing social inequalities, boosting agricultural productivity and stimulating the rural economy of the state”.
While commending the State CARES Committee headed by the Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Adaonah Kene-Uyanwune, for living up to expectations, the deputy governor maintained that “the state government is making farming an all season activity in order to further broaden and stabilize the role of farming as a source of sustainable employment, livelihood and constant supply of raw materials for our industries and for export”.
Earlier in his remarks, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Matthew Idu, pointed out that the exercise was to increase food production, stressing that it was one of the measures to address the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hon. Idu therefore urged the agric supervisors to ensure maximum utilization of the inputs, warning against selling of the products.
The event was also witnessed by the Chairman, House Committee on Health and Agriculture, Hon. Sam Ngene, the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Uche Eze, his transport counterpart, Hon. Mathias Ekweremadu (Jnr.) and the SPA on Agriculture, Engr. Mike Ogbuekwe, among others.