Enugu state Governor ,Dr. Peter Mbah has reiterated his commitment to Agricultural development in the state, saying ,that his administration anchors the sustainability of the state’s economy on agriculture, which has the capacity to earn huge revenue for the state.
He made this known in his speech, Thursday, during the commissioning of multiple rice, cashew processing centres, and poultry clusters across the three senatorial zones of the state, built
within the first 100 days of his administration by the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS), a World Bank Assisted Project, to help farmers to facilitate storage, processing and prevent post-harvest losses.
Gov Mbah’s representative, Prof Onyia
At the event held at the Rice Processing centre,, Nara, Nkanu East Local Government area, Governor Mbah said the projects were expected to enhance food production, modernize food processing method and preserve post-harvest produce.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, the Governor said , “Enugu State, through the APPEALS Project, has constructed 15 Aggregation/Processing Centres in cashew, rice and poultry clusters across the 3 senatorial zones of the state to facilitate storage, processing and prevent post-harvest losses among cashew, rice and poultry farmers”..
The centres are in Nara, Adani, Ngwo, Orba, Aguobuowa, Amechi, Ikpa Market-Nsukka, Udi, Eha-Amufu, Oduma and Akwarri in Eha-alumona
ALGON Chairman and Chairman Nkanu East Local Government ,Hon. Edeh
The Governor expressed satisfaction with the impacts APPEALS had made on the farmers in the state,
He said, the APPEALS Project in Enugu State empowered 8,520 direct beneficiaries as at 30th September, 2023.
“These beneficiaries are fed into CIGs/SMEs totaling 2,948; Women and Youth Empowerment Programme (WYEP), a programme that created 1,700 agro-entrepreneurs among youth, women and people with disability.
Farmers, John Mary
” Many farmers in the state in rice, cashew, poultry, aquaculture and cassava value chains have also benefited through capacity trainings, technology demonstrations and knowledge exchange visits which have exposed them to modern agricultural best practices and improved their capacity” he said .
Governor Mbah said in order to connect farm clusters in the state to the national grid, the State, through APPEALS Project installed and connected 500KVA energy source at 10 locations in the state.
” This will no doubt assist the farmers to enhance their effectiveness in farming activities. The APPEALS Project has done very well in the state.,” Mbah said.
HRH Igwe Ogbu, Nara Royal Father
“As a Government, we are eager to step up on these achievements as we have rolled out multiple projects towards ramping up our agricultural capacities in the state. We are truly committed to this and will ensure that in the next 4 years, by the time we are completing our first tenure in office, Enugu will be a net exporter of agricultural products with a corresponding boost in our GDP and revenue net worth. We are firmly committed to this vision”, he said .
He congratulated the Enugu APPEALS team, led by the Project Coordinator; Mrs. Ihuoma Eze. and urged other Donor funded Organizations to work hard to achieve visible and impactful results like what APPEALS had done
The Governor said he looked forward to seeing an optimal utilization of the processing centre, Nara and other aggregation and processing centres at other locations in the State and sustainability of the APPEALS
Earlier, the APPEALS Project Coordinator in Enugu state, Mrs. Ihuoma Eze, said the project had made meaningful contributions in the lives of farmers across the state even as it also directly prioritized the needs of women and youths in agriculture and entrepreneurship.
She disclosed that the Aggregation and Processing Centres had been equipped with all the required value chain machineries for optimal operation.
The Cordinator said that the Rice Aggregation and Processing Centres have both milling and drying capacities of 10 tons per day and 5 tons per day, respectively.
ccording to her, “supplied and installed equipment for Rice Centres include paddy precleaner, paddy grader, parboiling/soaking vessels, stream boiler, platform dryers, rice dehusker, rice polisher, destoner, polished rice grader, rice packaging machines, sets of elevators, 40KVA generator, bag closers among others.”
She appreciated the support from the state government which ensured that the projects were completed. “It is noteworthy to mention that the completion of all these 15 number Aggregation and Cottage Processing Centres as well as the 10 Energy Intervention sites were expedited and completed within the 100 days of His Excellency, Peter Mbah’s administration. This is a testament of His Excellency’s support to the Project.”
In a brief remarks, the Nkanu East Local Government boss and chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Hon Okechukwu Edeh, said the projects came at the right time when the people of the state, especially those in Nkanu East and other agrarian areas had been suffering with post-harvest losses. .
Edeh said ⁴the rice mills, cashew centres and poultry clusters across the state would encourage farmers to embark on industrialized farming and mechanized livestock production”.
He appealed to the youths in the state, to consider going into farming with the opportunity the state government had afforded them, assuring that the local government under his leadership would encourage genuine agro-production.
“Let us go into massive farming. People that will buy our products are already waiting for us in the world. I want every one of you to go into agriculture. I want to thank the Governor once again for the support and promise fulfilled to our people. We are going to make maximum use of this support and we are sure that the results of this project will soon manifest,” he said
On his part, the representative of Nara rice cluster, John Mary Eze, commended Enugu state Government and APPEALS for the project.. He appealed to them get f state Government to assist them ! Farmers) with tractors to enhance efficiency
In his goodwill address, the traditional rulers of Nara, HRH Igwe Ifeanyi Ogbu, commended the state government and APPEALS for the projects. He promised that the facilities will be utilized optimally
Highlight of the occasion was a cultural dance performance
Author: Maureen Ikpeama