Declaring open the workshop, Chukwulobelu, represented by Mrs Chinyere Nwabachili, said capacity building for farmers, availability of information and improved seedlings were basic to achieving food sufficiency in the state.
While noting that the state government was working to make farming more attractive to the youth and women, the Secretary pledged government’s continued support to rice and cassava farmers.
Chukwulobelu urged the participants at the workshop to commit themselves to the programme as a way of appreciating government’s commitment towards boosting agriculture.
In his speech, Mr Nnamdi Onukwuba, Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanisation, Processing and Export, said the government was poised to expand production in cassava and its value chain.
“There is also plan to address the state traditional rulers to request for lands in their various communities for the cultivation of the crops they have comparative advantages on,” Onukwuba disclosed.
Providing a rundown of achievements in the programme, Mr Nnamdi Agwuncha, the state Programme Coordinator of VCDP said over 5,800 rice and cassava farmers had been linked to off-takers.
Agwuncha said VCDP had trained farmers on agricultural market information system and assisted them develop and prepare over 300 hectares of farmlands in the eight participating local government areas.
The coordinator explained that the workshop was organised to bring stakeholders together to discuss challenges being faced in cassava production and its value chain.
NAN reports that at the event, awards were presented to 19 rice and cassava entrepreneurs as well as liaison officers and extension workers for their resilience and hard work in the programme. (NAN)