Anambra to improve on agriculture
By Chisom V. Okpala
Awka, June 8, 2018 (MOI) Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr Nkem Okeke has assured Ndi Anambra of the state government’s zeal to improve on agriculture.
Dr Okeke said this at the 4th Regional Food Science and Technology Summit organized by the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), East Central Chapter, at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka,
In a paper titled, ‘Anambra State Steady March towards Food Security', the deputy governor said that state government would focus on sensitization of farmers, free distribution of fertilizers and seedlings, land preparation through provision of free tractor service and micro-credit loans.
“The dream of the present administration is not only to be self sufficient in agricultural production, but for it to be a major source of income for the state.
“We have attracted about 700 million US dollars worth of investment in large scale agriculture,” Okeke said.
He urged large scale farmers to utilize the opportunities provided by state government to invest in agriculture.
The summit had as its theme: "Horizontal and Vertical Integration in Food Processing: A Sure Way to Sustainable National Industrial and Economic Growth".
The Vice President NIFST, Prof. Madu Iwe said the theme points to the current drive in diversifying economy, creation of jobs and ensuring food security.
Iwe said that such actions of the state government would help alleviate the country’s poor handling, packaging, transportation, storage and inadequate value addition.
He lamented that the indisputable role of NIFST has been ignored to the detriment of the nation, describing NIFST as the vital link between primary production and consumption.
The East Central Chapter President NIFST, Prof. Gabriel Okafor added that their mission was to build unique partnership that demonstrates the economic, practical and regulatory processes in accelerating the attainment of food security within the state.
Okafor stressed on the need to establish food scientist officers in local governments, in order to help drive the regulatory needs and food hygiene issues to the grass-root.
Presentation of award of 'Friend of NIFST’ to the Deputy Governor and cutting of 42nd birthday cake of NIFST formed the highpoints of the event. (MOI)