From Maurice Okafor, Enugu
The Enugu state commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Mathew Idu has disclosed that the state government will embark on massive development of Agriculture at the grass root level, so as to ensure food and other agricultural products are abundant in the state.
Mr Idu gave this assurance while responding to the question of plans of the state government to boost and make agricultural sector become the main stay of the state economy, at the backdrop of abundant stable potential farmland in the state.
He said the state government in its commitment to the growth of Agricultural sector in the state have been in the forefront of providing raw materials and other farm inputs to farmers in the state, with special focus to the rural farmers.
He mentioned that such raw materials towards the last quarter of 2020 were handed over to the 17 local government authorities in the state for even distribution of farmers in their various council areas.
According to him, the state government will increase the tempo of such supply this year, in addition to other strategies contained in the 2021 budget. He said the state will also give special consideration to professional bodies and individuals who intend to embark on Agriculture as additional career.
A check into the state 2021budget proposal for the Agricultural sector shows that an estimated ,N2.6billion naira is mapped for development of Agriculture in Enugu state this year.The amount I’d about ,38 percent higher than the 2020 budget of N1.8billion allocated to development of Agriculture in the state.
A breakdown shows that the Enugu state government earmarked a total sum of #220 million for the establishment of a cottage rice mill in the state ,one hundred million for purchase of tractors and other equipment to boost mechanized farming in the state.
Others include the establishment of a fertilizer processing plant in the state estimated to take N650 million N300 million for establishment of three modern abattoirs across the state and upgrading of meat selling outlets in the three senatorial zones of the state.
The state government also budgeted one hundred million naira for establishment of Youth agro business outlets in Enugu, Garki,9,the mile Obollo A for,Ndukka,UDI Four corner as hub for sales of Youth agro products. The state government also made provision of one hundred million naira as agricultural support to farmers in the state in the 2021 budget and N150 million for intervention in Agricultural productivity in the state.