In the face of dwindling oil revenue, the Ebonyi state government on Wednesday announced its plans of targeting the production of one million metric tons of rice yearly.
Governor David Umahi made this disclosure during the inauguration of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme in Abakaliki local government area. He added that incentives had been put in place to allow farmers meet government’s expectations.
The governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State government, Prof Bernard Odo, stated that government is targeting about 100,000 farmers to join the programme by the end of the year as the scheme is starting with 20,000 farmers.
He noted that the state’s current rice production lacked the capacity to feed the people of the state, let alone the country, hence the need for the government to double its efforts.
According to him, the state government had began a partnership venture with CBN which would not only boost rice production but also motivate farmers to engage in large scale commercial production of rice among other food crops in the state.
In his remarks, the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Barr. Uchenna Orji who expressed joy over the partnership between the state and the CBN urged farmers across the 13 LGAs to key into the scheme as it will benefit them and the state at large.
Orji noted that the State Executive Council members who are part of the Project Monitoring Team of the government were working round the clock to ensure the full implementation and success of the agricultural policies of the present administration.
Meanwhile the CBN consultant, Mr. Michael Enahoro stated that the scheme, if fully implemented would cause agricultural revolution across the state and the country at large as Ebonyi is playing a key role in the food security of the nation.