Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation, Processing & Export

Introduction

01. Introduction
Agriculture is the No.1 pillar in His Excellency Governor Willie Obiano’s administration. Agreeably, it has very high potentials for empowerment and employment generation, food security and poverty reduction. On assumption of office, Governor Obiano unfolded a master strategy to transform the agricultural sector into a leading player in national and global food markets. The State Government has made remarkable achievements in the agricultural sector and can be summarized as follows.

Agriculture Blue Print

02. Agriculture Blue Print
On assumption of office, he inaugurated a 14 man Agriculture Blue Print team to design a road map for developing agriculture in the State. The team headed by a renowned agronomist, Professor C.P.E. Omaliko produced the blue print which has mapped the state to determine which crops performs well in certain places and gave recommendations on the way forward. The activities executed in the sector are based on the development plan.

Two pronged Strategy

03. Two pronged Strategy
In order to achieve the desired result, two pronged approach were used by His Excellency. These include Public Private Partnerships (PPP) with large scale investors and offtakers and through the provision of support to small scale farmers.

Large Scale Commercial Farms

04. Large Scale Commercial Farms

i. Cosched Farms
The State Government is partnering with Cosched Farms (a subsidiary of Coscharis Group) for Commercial rice processing at Anaku. The Expected output from the farm is 60,000MT with milling capacity of 150,000MT. The company has commenced operations and planted 500 hectares (HA) of rice farm. Currently the Cosched farms are using flat irrigation on over 1000 HA. Cocheds Farms Ltd is investing the sum of N50billion. A total of 2500HA of land was allocated to the farmer at Anaku and the investment is expected to create 2000 jobs / employment. The expected out-put is put at 60,000 MT of paddy with a capacity of 150,000 MT milling Machine.

Anambra State and Cosched Farms

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ii. NOVTEC Farms Ltd
The State entered into partnership with NOVTEC Farms Ltd for the resuscitation of Anambra State Rice project at Omogho and Ndikelionwu. Operations have started and the company is currently installing sprinkler irrigation system at the site.
NOVTEC’s investment is worth $50,000,000 (Fifty Million Dollars) and cultivation rice on 450HA with over 300HA out grower model scheme.


iii. Lynden Integrated Farm

The PPP with Lynden Integrated Farms is for the development of a modern integrated poultry and production of high quality eggs and poultry meat in the state. Already, operations have commenced at Igbariam on the $61 million Us Dollar investments. Lynden ultra modern poultry investment is being developed on a 75HA land size and it is expected to provide over 1200 direct and indirect employment. Lyden farmers is investing the sum of N4.46billion (USD 61m). A total of 75HA of land was allocated to farm at Igbariam. The investment is expected to create about 1500 jobs / employment.

Anambra State and Lynden Integrated Farm

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iv. DelFarms Ltd

This is a $200,000 PPP investment with Delfarms; a Songhai Model Farms of Benin Republic to establish an integrated organic farm in each of the three senatorial zones of the state. The company has commenced operations at Igbariam on about 398 HA land size as part of their 2000HA of approved allocation. Del Farms Ltd is investing the sum of N11billion. The investment is expected to create about 1000 jobs (Direct jobs 300 indirect jobs 700).

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i. Joseph Agro Ltd
The ANSG/Joseph Agro Ltd is making a $150,000,000 (Hundred Million Dollar)PPP investment for the rehabilitation of Omor Rice Mill and Irrigated Rice production at Omor and Ufuma. The farm has expected output of 100,000MT and mill size of 120,000 MT. The land has been identified and development commenced. Joseph Agro Ltd is investing the sum of N33billion. The farm was allocated 380HA at Ufuma and the investment is expected to create 1500 jobs (500 direct and 1000 indirect jobs)

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vi. Eckcel Farms Ltd.
This is a $100, 000,000 (One Hundred Millon Dollar) partnership investment for commercial cassava production and production/processing of tomatoes at Omasi. The expected output is 80,000MT. The ground breaking has been done at Omasi and work has commenced at the site. Eckcel Farms Ltd is investing the sum of N22billion (USD 100m). A total of 2,500HA of land has been allocated to the farm at Omasi. The investment is expected to create about 1500 jobs(Direct jobs 500 Indirect jobs 1000).

vii. Tricity Integrated Farms
This is an $11.4 million Dollar investment on a 5HA land size and the partnership arrangement is for the establishment of a modern semi-automated abattoir in Awka. This will be scaled up to three (one in each senatorial zone of the state). The ground breaking has been done and the company will soon commence construction works. The investment will fetch over 1100 direct and indirect employment. Tricity Integrated Farms is investing the sum of 11.1million USD. A total of 5ha of land was allocated to the farm at Amansea. The investment is expected to create about 750 employment (Direct jobs 300, Indirect jobs 450).

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viii. Grains and Silos Ltd
This is a $23.5 million Dollar investment and the partnership arrangement is for the setting up of grains silos and malting plant with state. The company has started land clearing and will commence construction next.
This investment will fetch over 150 direct and indirect employment.
Silos and Grains Ltd is investing the sum of N5.2 billion. A total of 5 ha was allocated to the farm at Nkwellezeunaka and the investment is expected to create 1500 jobs/employment in the state.

ix. Staple Crop processing Zone
Anambra State was selected to benefit from the SCP2 to be established at Ayamelum LGA. The state has provided 250 hectares of land at Omor while arrangement is being made to provide a zonal office for the SCPZ at Awka. The State Ministry of Agriculture is also furthering discussions with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to kick state the project. 

Land Acquisition

5. Land Acquisition

The state government inaugurated the Land Acquisition Committee to help cut the bottlenecks of acquiring large expanse of land for agriculture. The committee has succeeded in sourcing land for Eckcel Farms, Del farms, Joseph Agro, Lyden farms, Coscheds farms etc. as at today, 65,000 hectares of land are available for investors and small holder farmers.

Mechanization/Tractorization

6. Mechanization/Tractorization

In order to boost mechanization, the state government procured 10new tractors with full complement of implements. The State Government is also into partnership with Eforce Agro Development for the procurement and management of 100 tractors at Awkuzu Tractor Base. The tractors have been supplied and operations have commenced. Under this arrangement, 10,000hectares of farm land were prepared across the state during the last planting season.

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Improving the Quality of Rice

 07. Improving the Quality of Rice
The State Government has established one modern Rice Mill at Omor with a destoner in order to improve the quality of rice produced in the state to meet international standards. More mills will be established in the rice producing communities in the state.

Distribution of Anambra State Rice

08. Distribution of Anambra State Rice
In line with the agricultural revolution programme of the State Government and in tandem with the local content policy of His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano, the State Ministry of Agriculture has commenced mass assembling of local rice for distribution to civil servants, public servants, pensioners and the less privileged as Christmas gift. The rice was destined, bagged and branded as “Anambra Rice”. The era of distribution of imported rice in the state is over, since the locally produced rice are more nutritious and has better aroma.

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Sustainable off taking of Farm Produce

 09. Sustainable off taking of Farm Produce
The State Ministry of Agriculture in furtherance of the state government’s initiative on the 21st Jan 2016 successfully landed its produce (Ugu and Onugbu) into Europe. This is a test run of 2.5MT to certify the conditioning centre and delivery of Anambra produce. The state has gone further to initiate training , Certification and networking interested off taker. Arrangements and understanding have been made with the logistic company ABX World Cargo& IFAOCM for their development of a conditioning centre for the preparation of the vegetables for export. This is also developed in partnership with Bosh produce, Eagle solution and Global Gap to export fruits and vegetable to European countries. The vegetable farmers are being trained on the right method of vegetable planting and use of organic fertilizer and pesticides. Certifications will be issued to successful farmers by Eagle Solutions Services Ltd of United Kingdom (UK).
The state is also making further arrangements with other off takers ie. Grand Cereal Ltd, UK trade and investment team, Global Gap etc. for the off take of agricultural produce from the state.

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Agric Fairs/Shows

10. Agric Fairs/Shows

The present administration has sustained agricultural shows to showcase agricultural produce from the state. The ministry has also in collaboration with International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) organized Cassava Show and Training of farmers on confectioneries production with cassava. The winners of the 2015 Agric Show were presented with gifts such as a Tri-cycle Truck for the best farmer, motorcycle for the second and third best farmers and 10 wheel barrows as consolation prices.

Youth Empowerment in Agriculture

11. Youth Empowerment in Agriculture

In pursuance of the State Government Youth Employment in Agriculture, the State has established Agricultural Training Centre at College of Agric Mgbakwu. The first batch of 250 youths has been trained in various productions of livestock. These youths would be empowered to develop agriculture skills. The Agric Training Centre will be established in 3 senatorial zones of the state.

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Input Support to Small Scale Farmers

12. Input Support to Small Scale Farmers

The State Government through the ministry of Agriculture is providing improved seeds, planting materials and fertilizers to farmers in the state free of charge. So far, cassava cuttings, maize and rice seeds have been distributed to farmers to improve the productivity of small scale farmers. Also, the state government is participating in World Bank Sponsored Fadama Project, IFAD Assisted, RUFIN, IFAD Assisted Value Chain Development Project and Islamic Dev. Bank Sponsored National programme for food Security (NPFS). These projects also provide input support to small scale farmers.

Revalidation of Co-operatives

13. Revalidation of Co-operatives

The Ministry of Agriculture is revalidating the agricultural co-operatives. This is to ensure that only genuine ones benefit from inputs support of government. This will also scale up operations and analysis of yields and output.

So far, 1,025 co-operatives have been validated, bringing the number of registered farmers in the state to 12,000.

Agro Control Centre

14. Agro Control Centre

The Ministry of Agriculture has established Agro Control Centre with full internet facilities and equipment.  This is achieved by the full support of His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano .The application/Platform (FIMS) Farmer information management system was developed going by international commodity exchange requirement which includes the traceability and mapping the farms into the platform. The platform will hold farmers Database of farmers and help for easy reporting and analysis of activities of the farmers activity. This is to enable the ministry receive information and farmers complaints for rapid response from experts in the ministry. Farmers can now channel their complaints via SMS to 08103524975.

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Soil, Plant and Water Lab.-1st of its kind in the country.

15. Soil, Plant and Water Lab.-1st of its kind in the country.

Soil, plant and water laboratory has been established in the ministry’s headquarters. The laboratory is for testing of soil plant and water. This is very important in agriculture for analyzing the soil, plant and water.

Anambra Rice: Commissioner Projects 210 Metric Tons’ Harvest.

16. Anambra Rice: Commissioner Projects 210 Metric Tons’ Harvest

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.

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Revolution in Anambra Agric Sector Is no Political Scam--Mbanefo

17. Revolution in Anambra Agric Sector Is no Political Scam–Mbanefo

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The Anambra State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export, Hon. Afam Mbanefo has stated that the giant strides currently being recorded in the state agricultural sector are real and not political gimmicks by the state government.

Hon. Afam Mbanefo speaking at an interactive session with press men in his office at ADP Complex Awka, called on Ndi Anambra to eschew the notion that government is trying to pull the wool over their eyes and embrace the Governor’s vision for Anambra agricultural sector.

“It is high time Ndi Anambra eschew negative notion about the sincerity of government regarding their welfare as it is seriously negating the developmental pace in the state,’ he said.

The Commissioner stated that in some communities in the state, it was very difficult to carry the farmers along because of this belief, citing situations in which farmers find it extremely difficult releasing land to government for agricultural purposes as major hindrances in boosting food production in the state.

“The Ministry is readily available and open to the public for inquires on whatever part of the government policies and plans they are not conversant with, this will help in clearing up misconception about government efforts as data and facts are available to back up every success stories recorded” he added.

Continuing, Hon. Mbanefo urged communities in the state to look at the larger picture partnering with the state government will yield in terms of development, employement and enlightenment.

Answering questions  on government‘s efforts towards making Anambra  self-sufficient in food production, Hon.Mbanefo, stated that government has gone on massive distribution of farm input to farmers, sensitization programmes on best agro practices that lead to bumper harvest and linking  farmers to off takers, who are ready to off take their produce from them.

In addition, the Commissioner listed the provision of credit facilities at low interest rate through collaborations with financing institutions, provision of an export desk, cooperative desk and Agriculture library at the Ministry and the resuscitation of moribund agric projects, as part of the government’s effort.

Speaking further, the Commissioner revealed plans by the state to embark on all year round cultivation of Anambra Rice, through the provision of irrigation facilities at designated communities to increase rice production from 3000 to 4000 hectares obtainable in Anaku and Omor communities to 12 000 hectares. This will reduce scarcity as demand for the rice is coming in from Sierra Leone, Liberia and other parts of the world, he added.

Hon. Mbanefo stressed the importance of farmers to form cooperatives and register the cooperatives at the cooperative desk set up at the Ministry to be part of this revolution. The registration is at a reduced cost for farmers, he added.

Obiageli Nwankwo

Anambra Agric Commissioner Reassures Communities Over Land Ownership.

18. Anambra Agric Commissioner Reassures Communities Over Land Ownership.

By Obiageli Nwankwo : Anambra State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export, Hon Afam Mbanefo has reassured communities in the state that lands released by them for Commuinity Farm Development Programme CFDP, would not be taken over by the State Government.

Hon. Mbanefo gave this assurance when the CFDP’s team visited Archbishop Heerey Technical Secondary School in Ogidi.

Addressing the School Management, the Commissioner Stated that the state Government has no intention of confiscating lands released for agriculture by Communities.

According to him,’’ Under the Community Farm Development Programme, the state government is only interested in developing lands within the community for the community, so that every Anambra family can afford to eat three square meals a day.’’

Continuing, he commended the school authority for the 10 hectares of land released to the programme and urged them to collaborate with the Ministry in its quest to showcase the lucrative side of agriculture to the pupils, adding that the CFDP is initiated with the intent to woo the younger generation into agriculture.

The resident Father of the School, Rev Father Peter Nwadimkpa in his response commended Governor Obiano for the programme and other numerous achievements the state has recorded particularly in exportation of vegetables and yam tubers abroad.

Reverend Nwadimkpa further stated that the farm development programme came at the right time as pupils will be exposed to mechanized agriculture, adding that it will help to eradicate the notion in younger generation that Agriculture is a dirty business and reserved for the aging or aged members of the society.

Earlier, the team visited the 15,000 capacity fish farm and six thousand birds’poultry farm at CADO Agric Project owned by Catholic Archdiocese Onitsha in Ogidi.

Canon Father Edwin Udeoye during the tour of the facility revealed that plans are under way for a processing mill to be built on the farm adding that equipment for the project will arrive the facility soon.

Agriculture reignites hope for Anambra: Nnachetta.

19. Agriculture reignites hope for Anambra: Nnachetta

By Mike Afah & Obiageli Nwankwo

The Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Communication Strategy, Ogbuefi Tony Nnacheta has said that the Ministry of Agriculture in the State has what it takes to compete favourably with its counterparts throughout the Federation.

The Commissioner made the statement during his media tour to the Ministry of Agriculture E-room-control centre, Awka to see the innovations and creativity introduced by the State government for easy reporting of the farmers across the state.

Addressing over 40 journalists and media executives, Ogbuefi Nnacheta, described the E-Agriculture innovation as impressive and a place of pride, adding that Anambra state has what it takes to revolutionize agriculture.

He further called on Ndi Anambra to avail themselves of the opportunities provided by the state government to key into agriculture and be empowered, pointing out that only agriculture will save the country from the present economic recession.

Receiving the team, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export, Hon Afam Mbanefo who was ably represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Comrade Leo Imoka explained that the centre enables the Ministry to monitor and evaluate agricultural production, provides easy communication with farmers and enhances traceability of ownership in line with the international commodity exchange standard.

Mr Imoka further stated that the system has the bio-data of every farmer in the state.

Also speaking, the Head of Planning, Research and Statistics, PRS, Mr Ekene Adokwe, also speaking disclosed that the data available at the Centre, shows that 101,032 farmers as well as 2465 cooperatives have been registered in the state, adding that the ratio of female to male farmers in the state, is 66.6% : 44.4%, while over 70% 0f farmers fall under the age bracket of 61-80 years of age with youths making 30 %.

ANAMBRA GOVERNMENT TAKES DELIVERY OF IRRIGATION FACILITIES..

20. ANAMBRA GOVERNMENT TAKES DELIVERY OF IRRIGATION FACILITIES.

By ObiageliNwankwo

The Anambra State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export Hon. Afam Mbanefo has stated that Umudara-Ihiala community will soon receive the irrigation  pump approved by the State Governor for all year round farming activities of the cluster cooperatives in the area.

Hon. Mbanefo disclosed this while inspecting the ongoing Umudara market/Abanze river road project.

Hon. Mbanefo who was accompanied by the Snr Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture, Engr Mike Ogbuekwe and other Management Staff of the Ministry, further stated that his Ministry has arranged with the off takers that would buy off the farm produce adding that the youths of the Community would be trained to enable them key into the various agriculture enterprises and make money for themselves.

The Commissioner and his team at the palace of the community leader of Umudara –Ihiala,Ogbuefi Zephnia Chukwuka, commended the community for the peaceful co-existence amongst the people and also for allocating land to the co-operatives for the community farm development programme.

He assured Ogbuefi Chukwuka that the youths of the community will benefit optimally from the programme, adding that Governor Obiano is very much interested in any programme that is beneficial to the youths.

Responding, the community leader expressed happiness on the recognition given to the community by Governor Obiano and commended the Commissioner for the monitoring visit, pointing out that the road was impassable before the construction works. He promised that the community would make more land available for government agric programmes.

In his remarks, the Chairman, APGA in Ihiala LGA, Mr Cyprian Obih commended the Governor for his laudable agricultural programmes designed to empower the youths and called on the people to continue to support him.

In a vote of thanks, the Youths Leader of Umudara-Ihiala community Mr Livinus Chigbogu plegde youths support to Governor Obiano in the next election adding that youths in the community have benefitted immensely from his agricultural program especially the community farm development programme.

ANAMBRA STATE GOVERNMENT PARTNERS WITH UNDP ON MEAT DISTRIBUTIONS.

21. ANAMBRA STATE GOVERNMENT PARTNERS WITH UNDP ON MEAT DISTRIBUTIONS

By EKWEAGA UZOMA

Plans to construct and develop modern abattoir  that would aid the supply of clean and hygienic  meats in the State has facilitated  the  United Nations Development Programme UNDP to enter into an agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture Mechanization Processing and Export on how  to construct ,rehabilitate and develop six new abattoirs to promote  the supply of healthy meats in the state .

Inspecting the abattoirs in the State, The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export Mr Afam Mbanefo noted that the State Government has developed a blue print that would guide the activities of the abattoirs, the butchers processing and supply of meats.  Considering the partnership with the UNDP, more six abattoirs would be built while facilities be provided for the already existing ones, he stressed the desire of the State Governor to better the plight of the butchers by extending dividend of democracy to them

The commissioner acknowledged the wholesome unity and cooperation that existed among the association which made them to have one voice as their demands would receive rapid attention before the government in policy formulations

In his response,  the Chairman of the Onitsha Butchers Association, Chief Jude Okoye, expressed hope and confident on the present administration for extending their supports demonstrated  by confronting the  challenges of the  butchers in the  State .

A similar visit to the Nnewi NKwo triangle Market , The  Chairman of the Nnewi Abbatoir Association Chief Amobi Nnoruka applauded the state government for providing them with disinfectants, attributing the recent progress recorded by the association to the fatherly adivice from the commissioner

Some of the touring team includes the Director Vetenary Services Dr Daniel Obele , Director Engineering,  Engr Anthony Chibwo with the President National Association of Butchers Chief Felix Ikenga and the Public Relation Officer of the Ministry Mr Mike Afam

ECOLOGICAL ORGANIC AGRICULTURE ASSOCIATION STRATEGIZES WAY FORWARD.

22. ECOLOGICAL ORGANIC AGRICULTURE ASSOCIATION STRATEGIZES WAY FORWARD.

BY EKWEAGA UZOMA

The Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Initiative of Nigeria   under the auspices of the Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria held stakeholder seminar to propagate healthy living among the people through the implementation of Organic farming practices in the South East and South South  zones .

The seminar which was the first of its kind attracted large crowd including Academia, Public Servants Agro based Industrialist and farmers groups from the zones, at the Anambra State Agricultural Development Programme ASADEP Conference Hall Awka .

The activities of EOA began   in 2012 when some  African Countries decided to  package , sustained the healthy climate in Soil with the eco biodiversity system for the people , four  African Countries selected for the programme one  each  from South , West  East and North , as Nigeria starting the pilot phase in 2014 .

The team led, by the country coordinator EOA ,Dr Olugbenga  Adeluwa ,with the Publicity Secretary Professor Ngozi Meludu ,DR O. Gbadamosi and Financial Officer Mr Moses Obayemi,  paid courtesy call to the honourable Commissioner Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing  and Export  Mr Afam Mbanefo who thanked the group for complimenting the efforts of the State government in preaching the use of organic farming practices ,noting that recently some  vegetable farmers were trained by the ministry, based on this, Anambra has exported over 11 metric tons  of vegetables  to UK and Europe,  similarly, Off takers were provided for the farmer for onward delivery of their  produce to Europe and Asian countries.

Mr Mbanefo urged them to harmonize, validate their group activities in to data for accessibility and clarification, assuring that the state Government would fund the business segment in the   yet proposed national seminar slated to hold in the State this year.

Earlier at the seminar, The Regional Director Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Sir Ibezim Nnamdi called for the quick implementation of these ideas, considering the large and enormous potentials in agriculture that informed the Federal Government to look for ways of exporting over 4million metric tons of Yam tubers to Europe.

The one day forum highlighted the various structures bothering on the core values and pillars of development in the Platform for Ecological organic Agricultural practices in the zone, Dr O Gbadamosi emphasised the importance of practicalizing ecological farming for healthy living among the people which can only be realized through upholding the principles of the programme.

WOMEN STRATEGIZE WAY FORWARD FOR 2017 FARMING ACTIVITIES

23.

WOMEN STRATEGIZE WAY FORWARD FOR 2017 FARMING ACTIVITIES.

By Ifeoma Aniagbado.

Women participants in the ongoing Community Farm Development Programme have met to discuss the way forward in 2017 farming activities.

Addressing the women at the meeting held at ADP complex hall Awka, the coordinator community farm development programme women wing Mrs. Theresa Okoye a.k.a Ochiora commended the women for coming out in mass to articulate agriculture in the state. She also called on the coordinators in different communities to dig out the cluster heads in each pulling unit that will help them reach the real farmers in the state.

Mrs OKoye while stressing the need to involve men and youth into the program for future purposes called on the leaders in the 3 senatorial zones of the state to conduct sensitization exercises down to the grass root level.

She further urged women to support Governor Obiano for the second tenure since he remembered the poor farmers in the state.

The woman leader in Omor who cultivates Nchuanwu, water melon and ginger, Mrs Caroline Onuora commends Chief Willie Obiano for having the interest of the farmers at heart by improving the Agricultural sector and for using the Hon. Commissioner Mr. Afam Mbanefo to reach the real farmers in the state.

In a similar vein, Mrs Nonye Ugodili a fish farmer and a woman leader from Onitsha South lamented about the political farmers who divert the funds meant   for the rural farmers in the state. She therefore advised the coordinator to always reach the farmers through their wards in the community.

The meeting attracted both men and women across the state amongst who were Chief Mrs. Ibezim Chinyere from Abatete, Mrs. Charity Okeke from Orumba North, Mrs. Peace Aniechina from Ugbenu, Mr. Ifeanyi Nweeke from Achalla and Sunday Ezeigwe from Idemili North L.G.A.

They in their separate remark decried the promise and fail attitude of the political farmers.

ADP HOLDS ONE DAY TRAINING ON AGRONOMIC PRACTICES

24.ADP HOLDS ONE DAY TRAINING ON AGRONOMIC PRACTICES.

IFEOMA ANIAGADO

Anambra State Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) in conjunction with IFAD VALUE Chain Development Programme (VCDP) have held one day pre /post season training on good Agronomic practices of Rice and Cassava production / processing for VCDP farmers, Liaison officers, Extension agents and other Stakeholders on Tuesday 11th April, 2017.

Addressing the trainers at ADP conference hall Awka, the Programme Manager (PM),      ADP Mr. Jude Nwankwo stated that the training was for people in various areas of agriculture in order to get them prepared for the great task ahead. He also called on the farmers in various agricultural zones in the State to listen attentively to the lecture and pass on what they have learnt to others to practice for more efficiency, adding that ADP and Ministry of Agriculture are working as a team to take Agriculture to greater height.

Also speaking the SPC value Chain Mr. Nnamdi Agwuncha who was represented by Mr. James Mozie said that the essence of the training to the farmer was to reduce the cost of production of any seed and also to prepare them for any eventualities

Contribution to the meeting, a resource person on cassava Mr. Samuel Ozoemena stated that cassava grows everywhere as long as it’s giving what it takes to yield, adding that a virgin land is what is most needed for its cultivation. He also said that cassava is rich in carbohydrate which is important to the body. Mr. Ozoemena also throws more light on the land preparation, cassava cutting, selection of planting materials, and soil test.

However, Mr. Emmanuel Chukwukelue who took them on ‘’Rice Production Technology’’ said that rice production is done in a muddy place so that it will give farmers its desired yield adding that good retention capacity land is also a plus to its production. He noted that poverty will soon be a thing of the past if farmers will endeavour to practice what they learnt from the programme .

In his closing remarks, a Desk Officer Mr. Godwin Akujieze said that the aim of the training is to prepare farmers for abundant harvest this year, adding that the training will also give them the opportunity to know and learn the new/best method of farming and also advise the farmers. He charged the farmers to listen attentively and make use of what they learnt.

FISH STAKEHOLDERS EMBARK ON MASSIVE RE-ENGINEERING PROCESS OF THE INDUSTRY

25.FISH STAKEHOLDERS EMBARK ON MASSIVE RE-ENGINEERING PROCESS OF THE INDUSTRY.

By Obiageli Nwankwo

The wind of revolution sweeping Anambra agricultural sector have moved to the fish industry as stakeholders across the value chain of the industry rise up to the challenge of re-engineering the sector for optimal performance.

The Special Assistant to the Governor on Fishery, Mr Emeka Iloghalu while speaking to about 30 fish farmers ,that converged at the conference held at the Ministry of Agriculture, ADP complex Awka revealed that time has come for a change in the orientation and business implementation in the sector as a huge untapped market for fish exists in the state.

According to Mr Iloghalu, ‘’most fish producers go into the business without a detailed business plan, hence no specification on input and expected output, resulting in lack of focus and low yield at the end’’.

The Special Assistant opined further that re-engineering process is targeted at bringing a change of orientation among fish farmers through sensitization and training programmes, to enable them start producing fish gradually on monthly basis, adding that this would lead to shift from the old trend of massive production of fish once every 3 months or 6 months.

He also stated that the state is set to restructure and tap into the market by encouraging already existing fishery projects and also reviving abandoned ones.

In furtherance to this, Mr Iloghalu disclosed that the Present administration has signed a MOU with Vita feeds through the Value Chain Innovation Platform for production of starter feeds for the state on a consistent basis and at stable pricing, adding that presently, the state has taken delivery of the first consignment of 2500 feeds from Vita feeds.

This he opined will ameliorate the dearth and high cost of fish feed presently facing small and medium farmers.

A stakeholder, Mr Okezie Ohanekwu, State Secretary of Catfish farmers Association of Nigeria, CAFAN, Anambra chapter, while commending the present administration on its effort to re-organize the fish sector called for massive sensitization and englightment programmes to enhance sustainability in the field.

In same vein, Comrade Ikechukwu Chucks, President of Nnewi youths Association for Agricultural Development and Master Degree holder on Fishery, stated the importance of involving the grass root fish producers through the appointment of local coordinators in various local government area to checkmate political farmer and also help the state achieve its vision of being the largest fish producing state in West Africa.

MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE REHABILITATES TRACTORS FOR 2017 FARMING SEASON

26.MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE REHABILITATES TRACTORS FOR 2017 FARMING SEASON.

By Mike Afah

Tractors and implements have been successfully rehabilitated by Anambra state Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization, processing and Export in readiness for the 2017 farming season operations.

The Director of Agric Engineering Services in the Ministry, Engr Anthony Chigbo who disclosed this, to the Press in his office stated that with the rehabilitation exercise, the Ministry would have enough tractors for the 2017 farming season.

Engr. Chigbo further stated that apart from the 10 tractors domiciled in the Ministry, about 100 tractors are available at the ANSG/E-force Tractor Base at Awkuzu, ready for the 2017 farming season operations.

Also, speaking, the Agric Engineer, in charge of field operations, Engr. Calistus Enedu said that the Engineering Company handling the servicing of the tractors, PICADELI International Agency has been working round the clock to ensure that all the tractors will be ready for 2017 operations, ‘’the company is seriously committed to ensuring that all our tractors are operational for the farming season’’ Enedu remarked.

Engr. Enedu further stated that the Department of Agric Engineering Services would triple its tractorization services to farmers this year adding that in 2016, the ministry covered 10,000 hectares and expects to cover 30,000 hectares of farmland this year.

He also disclosed that new tractor operators have been engaged in the ministry as approved by the State  Governor to enable the ministry meet the target for the year adding that every necessary arrangement has been made in order to meet the Governor’s mandate of maximizing agricultural production and achieving improved yield.

In his speech, the Manager of PICADELI International Agency, Mr. Ogonna Ikechukwu stated that the company has been working seriously to complete the rehabilitation of tractor fleet so as to get them ready for operations.

ANSG to Collaborate With NYSC for Youths Empowerment through Agriculture.

27.ANSG to Collaborate With NYSC for Youths Empowerment through Agriculture.

By Obiageli Nwankwo

The Commissioner of Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export, Hon. Afam Mbanefohas restated the commitment of the present administration to youth empowerment in order to achieve food security as well as job creation in the state.

The Commissioner made the remark during a courtesy visit paid to the Ministry of Agriculture, ADP Complex, Awka by the new State Coordinator of National Youths Service Corps, (NYSC), Anambra state, Mr.  E.O. Olawale.

Hon.Afam Mbanefo said that Anambra State will collaborate with NYSC, in refocusing the mindset of youths to agriculture through developing a workable model geared at bringing out the laudable benefits of agriculture by re-engineering agriculture as a viable business.

He revealed that the ministry has introduced various youths training programmes aimed at encouraging the youths through exposure to quick and easy way of making money from agriculture such as vegetable farming, stressing that the posting of major bulk of corpers to the Monitoring and Control Unit of the Ministry is a strategy which the state is using to ensure that youths are exposed to the fact that agriculture has moved from subsistence manual farming to Smart, Precise and Digital farming.

In his speech, the State Coordinator NYSC, Anambra State, Mr E. O. OLawale who described his visit as a fruitful deliberation, commended the State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano for his friendly disposition to youths in Agriculture.

He further stated that the visit is to liaise with the state on ways of redirecting the youths back to agriculture and improve the agricultural sector in the state.

Mr. Olawale stated that in NYSC Scheme agriculture plays a pivotal role as a viable platform for engaging the youths productively and called for state assistance, in leasing of land for its agricultural purposes.

The Highlights of the visit was exchange of gifts between the Commissioner of Agriculture and the State Director of NYSC, Anambra State.

Community Farm Development Programme: Umudara and Enugu-Otu Set to Take Delivery of Agro-Inputs.

28.Community Farm Development Programme: Umudara and Enugu-Otu Set to Take Delivery of Agro-Inputs.

By Obiageli Nwankwo

 The State Government would commence disbursement of agro- inputs to communities under the Community Farm Development Programme.

The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization Processing and Export, Hon Afam Mbanefo who disclose this at a meeting in his office, stated that Umudara in Ihiala LGA and Enugu-OtuAguleri in Anambra East LGA would receive agro –inputs of 5 bags of rice seedlings each and also be linked to off takers for off take of produce.

The Commissioner also stated that the state has mapped out modalities to ensure that inputs are spread evenly to the registered cooperatives.

Speaking further, on Afam Mbanefo  stressed the need for farmers to adhere to government insistence that they form cooperatives and register such with the Ministry of Agriculture, adding that the state has a lot for farmers under the programme.

He equally stated that preparation of Ugu and Nchawu nursery and the procurement of less bitter onugbu stem are near completion and this would bedisbursed to Vegetable farmers under the Community Farm Development Programme amongst other assistance.

In his contribution, the Agric Engr in charge of field operations for the programme, Engr. Calistus Enendu revealed that 5 hectares of land has been cleared and ploughed at Umudara and Enugu –Otu respectively in readiness for the planting season.

It is pertinent to recall that Community Farm Development Programme was flagged off last year with the mandate to develop communal lands for agriculture at no cost to the community.

Under the programme, farmers will be given free agro inputs such as seedlings, pesticides, fertilizers, tractor services and link to off takers who will off take their produce at the end of the farming season at stable price.

This is in line with the present administration quest to ensure food security in the state and empower youths and women through agriculture.

FADAMA III EXECUTIVES VISITS HON. COMMISSIONER FOR AGRICULTURE.

29.FADAMA III EXECUTIVES VISITS HON. COMMISSIONER FOR AGRICULTURE.

By Ifeoma Aniagbado

FADAMA III executives from Abuja paid courtesy visit to Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export Hon. Afam Mbanefo for his enormous support to FADAMA III projects in the state in order to move the state forward.

Addressing the executives from Abuja at commissioner’s office in ADP Complex Awka, the Commissioner Hon. Afam Mbanefo stated that this present Administration will always be happy to hear that FADAMA III projects in the state is matching forward and advised them to keep the flag flying for the good of the citizenry.

Hon. Commissioner threw more light on E-Agriculture where they captured the activities of the farmers in the Control Centre in the Ministry. He further said that FADAMA III project is one of the capacity buildings, pointing out that for every serious programme, one have to ensure that he grabs something out of it, adding that there will be lapses on the way, if nothing is done to procure progress.

Hon. Mbanefo further stated that youths development is also needed for the state to increase its productivity in the area of agriculture saying that programmes work together with cooperatives societies that are existing and have registered with the Ministry as to move the state forward.

The leader of the team Mr. Peter Ajibaeye said that they are in the state to review and ensure that things are in good shape and all the data they have gotten since inception be looked into for proper evaluation of the project performance.

Mr. Ajibaeye also said that they have visited some sites aimed improving  on what they have stressing that there is need for enormous support to FADAMA III projects in the state as to carry all along in the bid to move the state forward.

CBN RICE ANCHOR BORROWER’S PROGRAMME AND TARA AGRO DELIBERATES WITH ANAMBRA RICE FARMERS.

30.CBN RICE ANCHOR BORROWER’S PROGRAMME AND TARA AGRO DELIBERATES WITH ANAMBRA RICE FARMERS.

By Ifeoma Aniagbado

Anchor Borrower’s Programme sponsored by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with TARA Agro has undertaken an interactive economic decision with Production Anambra Rice Framers for 2017 farming season.

Addressing the farmers, the commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export Hon. Afam Mbanefo commended CBN and Tara Agro for their efforts in making Anambra state self – sufficient in rice production adding that Anambra state was so committed in rice production at a level that we cannot go back.

Hon. Mbanefo further stated that His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano expects the rice farmers to produce up to five hundred and thirteen thousand (513,000) metric tons of rice this year’s farming season, adding that CBN Anchor Borrower programme is expected to contribute at least thirty or forty percent of the targeted quantity.

He also advised farmers to be honest and transparent with the loan advanced to them promising to provide sincere apex head from every location will plant rice in the state, and also to sensitize more farmers about the programme adding that as a state we will go extra miles to maximize rice production.

Also speaking during the meeting, the Principal Manager and Head, Development Finance office, CBN Awka Mrs. Okparaeke Bridget Chinyere commended His Excellency and Hon. Commissioner for the giant strides in Agriculture in the state, and described the programme as unique which involves providing farmers with the inputs and off takers. 

Mrs. Okparaeke further expressed the need for farmers to be in groups, so that they don’t come as a single person to access the loan, adding that group strength provides collateral and helps in loan recovery. She also said that CBN and stakeholders are responsible to disburse the funds and called on the rice farmers that benefited from the programme to clear their debts in order to benefit from the programme.

In his own contribution, the Head of Credit and Marketing, Oraukwu Micro-Finance Bank Mr. Pius Onuorah described ABP as a good programme that does not give cash as a loan to the farmers but a equip them with inputs, Agro chemicals, fertilizers and 100 percents of labour cash adding that for one to benefit from the loan you must have an accounts with the bank and advised the farmers to comply with the guidelines stipulated by anchor stakeholders and the two banks involved in the programme.

STAKEHOLDERS COUNSELS MOTHERS ON UTILIZATION OF RICE AND CASSAVA FOR INFANT FEED HARPED .

31.STAKEHOLDERS COUNSELS MOTHERS ON UTILIZATION OF RICE AND CASSAVA FOR INFANT FEED HARPED.

By Ekeawaga Uzoma

The need to re- emphasis the importance of nutritional value intakes among mothers and caregivers for growth was practicalised   at a workshop on the utilization of Rice and Cassava production held at the Anambra State Agricultural Development Programme ASADEP, conference, Hall Awka.

The programme attracted Stakeholders, Extension Agents with   farmers   from the Value Chain Development Programme and the liaison officers in the Local Governments.

Declaring the workshop open, The Commissioner for Agriculture Mechanization, Processing and Export Mr Afam Mbanefo represented by the Programme Manger ASADEP, Mr. Jude Nwankwo acknowledged the recent changes witnessed in agriculture which now desired all people to key into it and better their life. He said that gone are the days when farmers are relegated as farming has now become a serious business that impact on people positively.

In a presentation  on utilization of rice with soya bean for infant feed, The Head Woman in Agriculture,  Mrs Pactricer Uba  suggested that rice and soya beans should be substituted into the children feed by   sorting and grading  according to specification of 6-3-2 ml  to aid the child’s development, which are  affordable and source of income to the women group.

The workshop permitted for questions among the various group on the lessons delivered, especially the one from Mrs Okaforuju from Ugbenu Awka North LGA , requested for assistance from the government

NNEWI YOUTHS TRAINED AND EMPOWERED AT AGRIC EXHIBITION .

32.NNEWI YOUTHS TRAINED AND EMPOWERED AT AGRIC EXHIBITION .

By Ekeawaga Uzoma

Agricultural exhibition designed to encourage the youth back to farming, a Community Farm Development Programme initiative by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export recently held one day practical training for the youths, and registered farmers groups at Nnewi North Local Headquarters, Anambra State.

The Commissioner for Agriculture , Mr Afam Mbanefo  highlighted some benefits derivable  in practical agriculture, however  corrected the notion that crop production remains the only form of agriculture having introduced some new technologies into  agriculture, and that land  is not a barrier .He declared government plans to improve the development of agriculture in the State by training ,  extend technologies and linking farmers to the  off takers to eradicate glut in production .

In his welcome address The President of the Nnewi Association For Agricultural Development Comrade lkechukwu Chuks extend his   appreciation to the Governor, Chief Willie Obiano for investing in agriculture above other sector in the State adding that the programme would help to re- orient and empower the youth back to agriculture, with the knowledgeable Commissioner for Agriculture the sector would assume its pride of place.

He was optimistic that the programme would create job for the teaming youth, women, intended farmers, reduce crime and increase the economy of the state  if they adopt all they gathered in the training however solicit  the assistance and support from the government to actualize  these noble idea.

The participants were furnished with   lessons on agronomy practices   in Rice production, Bee keeping production, artificial brooding and Snail production others are castle oil livestock production and Vegetable Production.

GOVERNOR OBIANO WINS NATIONAL AWARD AS BEST AGRIC GOVERNOR .

33.GOVERNOR OBIANO WINS NATIONAL AWARD AS BEST AGRIC GOVERNOR.

BY MIKE AFAH

The State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano has bagged another National Award as the “Best Agric Governor” in the Country.The award was conferred on him on Tuesday 4th May 2017 at the Intercontinental Hotels, Victoria Island Lagos.

According to the Agro Nigeria Magazine that organized the Nigeria Agriculture Awards (NAA), the State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, won the “Best Agric Governor” in view of his commitments to the development of agriculture, encouragement to Small Scale Farmers and provision of enabling environment for Agro business and investment to thrive in the State.

Presenting the award to Governor Obiano, who was represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Afam Mbanefo, the Director General Nigeria Agriculture awards, Richard-Mark Mbaram, stated that Governor Obiano has attracted Agro investment, generated employment and empowered women and youths through agriculture.

The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export, Hon. Afam Mbanefo was also awarded the “Best Agro Commissioner of the year 2016/2017. The award was due to his commitments to the State Community Farm Development Project (CFDP), Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) and Fadama III Additional Financing which have benefitted large and Small Scale Farmers in the State.

Accepting the awards, the commissioner commended the organizers of the Nigeria Agriculture Awards for recognizing the efforts of the State Government in creating jobs, empowering women and youths through agric business development in the state.

Hon. Mbanefo stated that he dedicates the award to His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano, whom he said made it possible for him to succeed through his supports and funding of Agric projects and programmes.

He pointed out that, at the onset, Governor Obiano made agriculture his first pillar of economic development and established institutions that facilitate investment such as Anambra State Investment promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA), Land Acquisition Committee (LAC) and Anambra Small Business Agency (ASBA)

Hon. Mbanefo further stated that Anambra state has developed E-Agriculture platform which enable the Ministry to capture data of farmers, farm traceability, easy identification and tracking of tractors and farm machines.

The Award Ceremony was attended by the Commissioners of agriculture from Kano, Kebbi and Lagos state and other dignitaries and officials from the 36 states of the federation.

The Commissioner was accompanied to the award reception by some management staff of the Ministry of agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export.

ANAMBRA COMMISSIONER FOR AGRICULTURE ADDS A YEAR, STAFF POUR ACCOLADES .

34.ANAMBRA COMMISSIONER FOR AGRICULTURE ADDS A YEAR, STAFF POUR ACCOLADES.

Obiageli Nwankwo

IMG_20170505_142806

Staff of Ministry of Agriculture have thrown a surprise birthday party for the Honorable Commissioner of Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export, Hon.Afam Mbanefo, who added a year on May 5, 2017

Speaking at the occasion held in his office at ADP Complex, Awka, the Commissioner commended the staff for their efforts and solidarity to his administration.

The Commissioner while commending the staff noted that he would not have gone far in discharging his duties if the staff had not thrown their weight being him and called for their continued support.

It would be recalled that the Honourable Commissioner For agriculture, Hon. Afam Mbanefo, was adjudged the, ‘’Best Agro Commissioner,’’ 2016/2017 in recognition of his personal commitment to agriculture in the state by Nigeria Agriculture Award, (NAA) on, May 3rd, 2017 in Lagos.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Comrade Leo Imoka while congratulating the Commissioner on his Birthday, stated that the Commissioner has through the introduction of E-agriculture transformed agriculture in the state to an enviable position, making farming a much sought after by indigenes of state and beyond.

The Public Relation officer of the Ministry, Mr Mike Afah in his speech commended the Commissioner for his exemplary leadership style and judicious interpretation and execution of His Excellency’s vision and policies regarding agriculture in the state, noting also that he had brought along with him a wind of change to the ministry since assumption of office.

The acting Programme Manager of Agriculture Development Programme, (ADP), Mr Jude Nwankwo equally in his address, stated that Commissioner’s  commitment and diligence to responsibility is worthy of emulation by all in leadership position  as the state would be better  for it.

Still speaking, Mr Jude Nwankwo,stated that, “just as a goldfish has no hiding place, Hon Afam Mbanefo style of leadership has brought many accolades and awards, a pointer to the fact that diligence and commitment to tasks brings an individual to limelight.”

Highlights of the occasion were the cutting of the Birthday cake by the Commissioner and group photographs with staff.

ANAMBRA SENSITIZES FARMERS SENSITISED ON THE REQUIREMENT FOR EXPORTATION

35.ANAMBRA SENSITIZES FARMERS SENSITISED ON THE REQUIREMENT FOR EXPORTATION

Ekweaga Uzoma

The effort of the Anambra State Government to explore the potentials in agriculture received an impressive mark when the Produce Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export conducted a lecture series to enlighten Vegetable, rice and yam farmers on the requirements for Exporting outside the country.

In his opening speech, the Commissioner for Agriculture Mr Afarm Mbanefo said that the training would equip   farmers with the basic knowledge of exportation in line with the State government aim to encourage exportation among the farmers , He stated that more opportunities would be harnessed   through the Community Farm Development Programme as farmers would be linked to off takers soon, the first batch of agreement between Tiger foods with the farmers would be executed.

The Commissioner also said that farmer needs to get the right practise because Anambra State has great potentials to feed herself and earn foreign exchange through agriculture

Speaking  on The Potentials of International Trade and Export, The Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Export,  Mr Christopher Onukwube noted that the aim of the lecture  was to develop agricultural products for export which were in tandem with the state Government’s   directives now that the Governor Chief Willie Obiano has prioritized  exportation as the cardinal objective of his administration.

He said that the previous exercise on export would be streamlined and areas that required attention would be corrected, “the emphasis is to make the State earn huge foreign exchange through agriculture, this is because currently this administration has grown the GDP of the State through agriculture which since inception no government has achieved” Onukwube remarked.

The Assistant Director Nigeria Export Promotion Council Enugu office , Mrs Ekwem Roselyn  explained that the council would partner with the State Ministry of Agriculture to promote some agricultural  products like Vegetable ,rice , build farmers capacity link and expose their products outside the country

She said that the council has concluded plans to build  a conditioning centre  to facilitate a common and easy export for the farmers which  in addition will invite the services of an  expert  to guide the farmers grow  Vegetable  with best  agronomic practises  pending the completion of the sate Airport which would reduce  distance and add quality to exportable crops

MASTER TRAINERS PROGRAMME KICKS OFF IN AWKA.

36.MASTER TRAINERS PROGRAMME KICKS OFF IN AWKA.

BY IFEOMA ANIAGBADO

The Anambra State Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) in partnership with Federal Ministry of Agriculture have organized a master trainers programme for various agricultural value chain modules in the state.

Declaring the training programme open, Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization Processing and Export Hon. Afam Mbanefo commended the Federal Government for sponsoring the N-Power training programme adding that it will boost agricultural production, empower the youths and provide jobs for the unemployed.

Hon. Afam Mbanefo commended the resource persons from the federal ministry of Agriculture for providing the techniques and logistics and therefore called on the master trainers to pay attention and acquire the knowledge to enable them step the knowledge downto the N-Power participants in the state.

Also speaking the training coordinator from Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Edina Ogoegbu described the master trainers as super trainers and agric oriented stressing that the aim of this N-Power training was to empower mostly our undergraduates that need to be agric oriented for future purposes. She further urged the super trainers to properly orientate the youths strictly on agricultural theories and practical work, adding that the trainees should conduct themselves during the five days’ workshop.

One of the resource person, a lecturer from Department of Agriculture in University of Nigeria Nsukka, Prof. Ify Achike said that they would be more interactive section where everybody is free to contribute in any way it will help to yield a good result in the state. She also advised the trainers to make their zones comfortable by impacting knowledge to their undergraduates to achieve a common goal.

Another resource person, from federal Ministry of Agriculture Dr. Okey Aniegbu stated that agriculture is a good business in every part of the world today and called all the agronomist to practice their profession in anywhere they stay by showing good example to others.

In his remarks, the Programme Manager ADP, Mr. Jude Nwankwo commended every participant for contributing to the success of the programme and also advised the super trainers to dispose the trust invested in them by listening to the lectures in order to achieve the objective.

COMMISSIONER AGRIC PROMISES GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE TO FARMERS.

37.COMMISSIONER AGRIC PROMISES GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE TO FARMERS.

The Commissioner for Agriculture Mechanization Processing and Export, Mr Afam Mbanefo has assured farmers in the State that government will provide them with the high breed input, fertilizers at subsidized price during these planting season. The assurance was made when he had a meeting with the frontline staff of the ministry in his office at Awka.

The commissioner said that the Ministry will soon engage the ASADEP Extension Agents in her activities by creating demonstration center on vegetable at the four zonal offices. These he said would help in the multiplication of seeds and training, while the previous yellow root cassava stem distributed to farmers would be recovered.

He described the frontline staff as the engine that propel agriculture, charging them to be diligent and productive as more assignments will be extended to them.

Earlier in the meeting, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Leo Imoka, extolled the efforts of the State Government in pushing agriculture, especially on vegetable export which he championed when steering ASADEP as the program manager. Mr Imoka enjoined the officers to double their efforts in promoting originally produced agriculture which are the objective of the state government programme for agriculture.

The programme manager, ASADEP, Mr Jude Nwankwo, expressed gratitude to the Ministry for organising the programme, saying that considering the crop of experienced officer in the programme, no doubt success would be achieved.

Ekweaga Uzoma

Community Farm Development Programme Team Sensitizes Cooperatives on Operational Modalities.

38.Community Farm Development Programme Team Sensitizes Cooperatives on Operational Modalities.

 By Obiageli Nwankwo                                                                                               

Community Farm Development Programme (CDFP) Team has drawn up operational modalities for cooperatives.

The Commissioner for Agriculture Mechanization Processing and Export, Mr Afam Mbanefo made this known at a sensitization meeting with Chairmen and Secretaries of the various cooperatives societies held at the ADP Complex, Awka.

Addressing the group, the Commissioner represented by Mr Jude Nwankwo, the programme Community Negotiator stated that the move became necessary to check abuse and unseriousness from farmers.

The Commissioner reiterated that the programme although a vehicle through which government wants to ensure that its social responsibility function is felt in the hinter land.

The Commissioner announced that acceptance offer of community farm development programme farm will be duly signed by the traditional ruler of the community, the PG and owners of the land.  Would be duly signed by the Igwe of the Community, the PG and owners of the land.

Reacting to some of the challenges mentioned by Cooperatives leaders, Mr Mbanefo disclosed that, the state has already increased the number of tractors assigned to the programme, while disbursement of furrow 44 rice seedling will soon commence in communities that are into it.

Earlier, most of the farmers who spoke on the challenges stated that work is yet to commence in their localities, and called on the state to government look into it swing.

Some of the cooperatives that attended the meeting were from Enugu-Nanka, Ndi-Owu, Achalla, Awka North, and Enugu-Otu.

Ministry of Agriculture Trains Staff on Effective Digital and Video Editing .

39.Ministry of Agriculture Trains Staff on Effective Digital and Video Editing .

By Obiageli Nwankwo

Anambra State Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export has trained Communication and Extension officers on effective digital and video editing skills.

The 5-day workshop held in Awka has the principal objective of educating Communication and Extension Officers on proper techniques for editing of video recording using Adobe Premiere Pro, CS6

Declaring the workshop open, The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Afam Mbanefo represented by the Public Relation Officer of the Ministry, Mr Mike Afah, stated that the workshop is part of its capacity building programme and is aimed at enhancing efficient information service delivery of agricultural activities in the state.

According to the Commissioner, good editing skills is important in  information service and  for effective  communication to take place, proper editing of stories and pictures is necessary.

Mr. Mbanefo, disclosed  that the workshop is the first of the series and  urged the participants to take the training seriously as much is expected from them, especially in packaging of documentaries, voice over and production of jingles.

A resource person, Mr Francis Seibofa of Mistermee Production, took the participants through an overview of what video editing using Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 software entails.

He discussed extensively on how to import and organize video films from one interface to the other, introduction of music, sound tracks in video /film production and how to use the effect controls to add colour to video films.

Mr Seibofa stated that editing is an important aspect of production which although complex is easy to master using the Adobe premiere software, known for its flexibility and editing friendly features.

MBANEFO PROMISES TO CARRY EVERYBODY ALONG IN AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT.

40.MBANEFO PROMISES TO CARRY EVERYBODY ALONG IN AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT.

By Nkiru Chukwudi Amuta

The Commissioner of Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Exports, Honourable Afam Mbanefo has reiterated his preparedness and interest to carry everyone along in the development of Agriculture, so as to move the state forward for the benefit of the society and country at large.

Hon. Mbanefo declared this during the opening ceremony of a five-day N-power (Agro) training of master trainers held at the Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) Conference Hall, Ministry of Agriculture, Awka. Honorable Mbanefo said that the sole aim is for them to come out with a concrete resolution which will be of benefit to the masses. He said that agriculture is competitive, enterprising and easy to practice, and advised these experts to ensure that this interactive/audience participatory session will be useful-knowledge-acquired that will be impacted into the lives of the youths as to attract them into practicing Agriculture.

Contributing, a Representative of the co-ordinating institute National Agricultural Extension Research Liaison Services (NAERLS) Zaria, Dr. Mrs Edna Uyoubisere said that the objective of the training is to get the best out these practitioners in the field in order to give the best to the N-power beneficiaries to see profitable adventure and sharp practices that would be inculcated into the whole system. She noted that one hundred thousand graduates under Agro (Agriculture) who were specifically slated for the empowerment, about thirty thousand (30,000) have been enlisted already, remaining seventy thousand (70,000) graduate youths yet to be enrolled nationwide.

In their respective teachings, the Resource persons, Professor Mrs Ifeyinwa Achike, Dr. Aniebo and Professor Mike Ejemba (N-Power Co-ordinator South East) maintained that women should be specially encouraged  and supported in Agriculture as it was indicated that more women participate than men. He further said the training is meant for the master trainers who would in turn train the N-Power (Agro) beneficiaries, and to ensure that whatever should be given out must be simple and straight to the point, so that these trainers should be able to give it a – right to the beneficiaries of N-Power (Agro).

Earlier in his opening remarks, the programme manager (PM), Mr Jude Nwankwo expressed happiness for the honour/favour done to all the Ndi Anambra by God, and advised the participants to be focused, dedicated and committed to learn from these various Resource Persons and to put what they learnt in action for the betterment of all the people.

The PM further said that Anambra state will continue to excel, adding that the Agriculture equally is made the number one pillar in Governor Obiano’s administration. Mr Nwankwo therefore appealed to all and sundry to join hands so as to move the state forward in order to get to that desired height.

High points of the occasion were courtesy visit to both the Commissioner and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry and also group photographs.

AGRICULTURAL EXPERTS TO HANDLE N-POWER IN BASIC AGRICULTURAL TRAINING IN THE STATE.

41.AGRICULTURAL EXPERTS TO HANDLE N-POWER IN BASIC AGRICULTURAL TRAINING IN THE STATE.

BY UZOMA EKWEAGA

Some agriculturists from Anambra State Agricultural Development Program received 5 days training on basic agricultural knowledge for the purpose of extending them to over 30,000 deployed N- power youth in the state.

The Federal government in 2017 employed some graduates unemployed youths into agriculture and education sectors as part of ways to reduce unemployment and engage them maximally. The agriculturist also called master trainers will further train groups of agronomists who will extend the knowledge to the N-power employees. It is expected that the training will be replicated in all the 21 local government areas of the state.

During the opening ceremony, the commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanisation, Processing and Export, Mr Afam Mbanefo applauded the program which he said will have great impact on the already achieved height as the gap witnessed in extension agents will be corrected. He enjoined the master trainers to key into the state government’s program for Agriculture which has attracted accolades to the present administration.

The commissioner noted that all these were achieved because of the Governor’s passionate view for agriculture.

In her speech, the coordinator and representative of the National Extension Research Input Liaison Services(NARILS) Zaria, Mrs Edna Ugoubisere announced that about 100,000 youths were employed under the N-power project out of which 30,000 have been deployed now at their various primary place of assignments across the country. She said with this training, it is expected that they will be groomed with the practical aspect of agricultural production which will be on the basis of 60% practical and 40% theory for the purpose of achieving the desired objective for the program.

In a similar vein, one of the resource persons with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Ify Achike acknowledged the contributions of all the participants at the training and advised them to explore all the knowledge to replicate it to the people.

ANSG ASSURES FARMERS OF ADEQUATE ASSISTANCE

42.ANSG ASSURES FARMERS OF ADEQUATE ASSISTANCE 

By Ekweaga Uzoma

The commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export Mr Afam Mbanefo has assured farmers in the State that government will provide them with the high breed inputs and fertilizers at subsidized price during these planting seasons.

The commissioner gave the assurance during a meeting with the frontline staff of the Anambra State Agricultural Development Programme in Awka that the Ministry would soon engage the ASADEP Extension Agents in her activities by creating demonstration centre on vegetable at the four zonal offices, which would help in the multiplication of seeds, and training while the pervious yellow root Cassava stem distributed to farmers would be recovered.

He described the extension agents  as the engine that propel agriculture, charging them to be diligent and productive as more assignments would be  extended to them , assuring that their allowances and logistic support would be provided to enable them carry out their operations effectively.

Earlier on in the meeting, the Permanent Sectary of Ministry Mr Leo Imoka had extolled the efforts of the state Government in  pushing  agriculture to the fronts burner and  enjoined the officers to double their efforts in promoting organically produced agriculture which according to him was a major objective of the  State Government’s programme for agriculture .

The Programme Manager, ASADEP, Mr Jude Nwankwo  expressed gratitude to the Ministry for its support  to the programme and expressed confidence that state government would record more successes in the agricultural sector.

COURTESY CALL BY A DELEGATION FROM WEST FORCE GLOBAL NIGERIA LIMITED TO THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE

43.COURTESY CALL BY A DELEGATION FROM WEST FORCE GLOBAL NIGERIA LIMITED TO THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE

By Nkiru Chukwudi Amuta

The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Exports, Mr. Afam Mbanefo says that the ministry’s score area is to strictly manage the extension officers and also engage the youths to increase their participation in Agricultural production.

Making this known when a team from the Westforce Global Nigeria Limited made a presentation in his office at Awka, Mr. Mbanefo said Anambra state has a road map of different kinds of Production which is environmental friendly, adding that there is need for them to learn new ideas that can help farmers improve in their production.

He said the ministry is well prepared to close gaps on how they can properly do things the best way of practicing Agriculture.

The commissioner expressed happiness on the concept they have and expressed optimism that the farmers will form part of the review.

Presenting the company’s profile, the leader of the team, Engineer Egal Iguochi said they were in the state to highlight what they do and to ensure that the needs of Ndi Anambra are met agriculturally wise, adding that partnering with them will also provide so many job opportunities to the citizenry.

In a vote of thanks on behalf of the managing Director, Mr Jude Chiobah expressed joy and thanked the commissioner for welcoming them and pledged their unalloyed support for the good of the citizenry.

ANAMBRA RICE RATED BEST IN THE WORLD

44.ANAMBRA RICE RATED BEST IN THE WORLD

BY GEORGE EWULUM

The Anambra rice has been rated as the best in the world by the majority of people who live and work within and outside Anambra State including overseas. This assertion was however, gathered in a series of interviews conducted by the press with some groups in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State Nigeria.

Speaking on the issue at the Anaku Modern Market, Mr Abalum Udekwe disclosed that Anambra rice has no equally when it comes to the taste, make up and aroma.

A staff of the Ayamelum Local Government Area who also spoke in a separate interview expressed joy over the latest packaging of Anambra Rice.

According to her, the incumbent government has the magic formular of feeding not only Ndi Anambra and Nigerians but also the world she cited the current high demand of Anambra Rice by same developed countries of the world such as Britain.

In Onitsha, Mrs Anulika Ogidi who deals in vegetables confessed that Anambra Rice is second to none in her family. She appealed to the government to cut down the price of Anambra Rice so that the poor masses can enjoy it too.

In a telephone interview with The Anambra State Chairman of Nigerian Union of Journalist[NUJ]- Mr Emmanuel Ifesinachi he applauded the good government of Willie Obiano, stressing that Akpokuedike is doing it well.

Finally in another exclusive telephone interview Mr Emmanuel Chukwudi who spoke from America said that Ndi Anambra should support this current administration which is performing and has produced rice that is good.