By Amaechi Okwara
Delta state government yesterday said over 41,000 farmers in 463 cooperatives across cassava, rice, and fisheries enterprises were registered for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor borrowers programme in the state.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Austin Chikezie, who stated this in Asaba, the state capital, during this year’s World Food Day celebration with theme Change the Future of Migration, Invest in Food Security and Rural Development, said no fewer than 7,900 farmers who met criteria were trained and empowered with loans in kind and cash.
He said: “In order to encourage food sufficiency in rice production, 450 rice farmers were trained. Of these, 198 rice farmers were given 15 tons of rice seed (paddy), 1, 800 litres of agro-chemicals and 1, 800 bags of fertilisers to establish 248 hectares of rice farm.
“Technical livestock assistance and veterinary public health services to farmers is on to increase productivity and prevent the spread of animal and zoonotic disease within the state.”
Chikezie said three new rice mills were purchased for Ohio, Agborho and Onicha-Ukwuani rice processing and installation of mills was on-going, adding that it would create 1, 000 direct and indirect jobs for youths when fully completed.
“The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations is at the forefront of international efforts to combat poverty and battle hunger across the globe, particularly in developing count tries.
“Under the oil palm development programme, 220, 000 improved oil palm seedlings were raised for distribution to farmers, five mini oil mills have been fabricated and distributed to farmers. This is to ensure value addition to oil palm production, create jobs and reduce rural-urban migration.”