The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export, Hon. Afam Mbanefo has said that Anambra state is expecting a harvest of 210 metric tons of rice at the end 2016 farming season, a major improvement from 2015 harvest of 190 metric tons.
The Commissioner who was addressing members of Aguleri Cooperative Group Association at Amanze Aguleri recently stated that there was a wide gap between the quantity of rice consumed and the quantity cultivated in Anambra state, adding that the state hopes to bridge this gap by projecting a harvest of 320 metric tons by the year 2017.
Mr. Mbanefo revealed that the reason behind the massive distribution of improved and certified seedlings by the Ministry and other project arms of the Ministry was to ensure a bumper harvest and the standardization of Anambra agricultural produce.
He went further to call on the farmers to collaborate with the Ministry in the actualization of the target; by using the inputs strictly on their farms according to specifications and instruction, most especially now, that Anambra Rice and Vegetables are gaining popularity in and outside Nigeria.
The Commissioner stressed the importance of farmers having their cooperative Identity cards at disbursment centers, as it makes identification and authentication of farmers easier.
Earlier in his remarks, the state Rice Project Manager, Mr. Jude Nwankwo revealed that provision of hybrid maize, furrow 44 rice seedlings and lime fertilizer is in fulfillment of Governor Obiano’s promise to Ndi- Anambra farmers. He expressed the state’s expectation that farmers should use the inputs for the purpose they were meant.
In his vote of thanks, Chief Joseph Anochie, Chairman of the Aguleri Cooperative Group Association, expressed joy over Governor Obiano’s largesse to farmers in the state and pledged their unalloyed support to his vision for the state’s agricultural sector.
Mr Alex Nnoruka, the Chairman of Ezinwanne Cooperative Aguleri, a recipient of the farm inputs thanked the Commissioner and pledged his commitment to use the inputs in his farm
Highlight of the occasion was the distribution of farm inputs to various cooperative groups among whom are Ifedinma Cooperative Aguleri, Divine Mercy multi- cooperative and Ezinwanne cooperative Aguleri.