Afikpo Farmers Petition Ebonyi State Govt : Seek CBN loans

By Kelechi OKORO

Farmers in Afikpo LGA of Ebonyi State, have petitioned the state government, urging her to quickly intervene in what they described as worsening situation for farmers in the area. The farmers, under the aegies of Afikpo Farmers, in an open petition, when the Nigerian Promotion Export Committee, organized a One Day interactive session, with farmers in the area, complained that the state government does not encourage them even when they encounter any lost.

Explaining further on their allegations, Mr Oko Egwu Patrick, member rice farmers, said that Afikpo people were interested in farming, but when they utilise their little resources and energy, either pests or animals and even erosion and flooding will ravage and destroy everything without even the government rendering any form of assistance.

He said in his own case, he had severally lost his crops and each time he reported his case, nothing happened. Another farmer, Mr Emmanuel Oko, who said he retired as Director from the Ministry of Agriculture in 2016, also explained another pathetic situation of how he and other members of his cooperative stopped because of insufficient funds and asked, with the new arrangement, how one could assess the CBN funds.

After hearing the hardship faced by farmers in the area, as a result of poor funding and governmen’s inability to assist the farmers, the committee Chairman, Mrs Ogonna Ngwuta Christiana, felt sorry and assured them of how government was prepared to improving their conditions, through the committee.

Mrs Ogonna, explained that the state government has set up the committee, comprising experts in the NDP, raw material agency, farmers association, ministry of culture and tourism, ministry of commerce and industry as well as the association of micro finance, including the CBN, to help improve their ailing condition, especially those in the rural areas, who had suffered so much in the past and advised them to come together as cooperative societies, adding that it is through such associations that they could be active and able to assess loans from the CBN and other benefits made available by the committee.

She said that if that is done they would not only improve their individuals’ lots, but also contribute to the nation’s development. The Executive Chairman of the Council, Hon Uchenna Nnajiofor Ibiam, appreciated the good work the committee was doing.

He thanked the state government for initiating the programme and promised farmers in the area that he would consider making lands available for them to farm. While the supervisor for agriculture in the area, Hon Henry represented the Executive Chairman, Paschal Okpara, John Nwafor, Emmanuel Charles Onwe, Paul Ugo, Mary Chinaza and Ifesinachukwu Comfort Nweke were resource persons, who enlightened the people on the various areas to improved cassava production and processing.

Also in attendance were cancellors, supervisors, heads of departments and members of staff as well as traditional rulers from the various communities in the council.#ends

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