The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Ebonyi chapter, has launched wet season farming and distribution of inputs in the state, promising that the season would bring bumper harvest.
Mr Chukwuma Igwe, Assemblyman, representing Onicha West Constituency in Ebonyi House of Assembly at the ceremony on Friday in Abakaliki applauded the federal and state government’s effort at ensuring food security for the citizenry.
Igwe called for massive youth engagement and investment in agriculture in the fight against unemployment and insecurity across states of the federation.
The lawmaker, however, expressed displeasure with the destruction of public infrastructure by the youth, urging them to desist from the acts of restiveness and disorder.
“You must know that no meaningful development can exist in an atmosphere of violence.
“Take farming as business; agribusiness like other businesses can make one fame and rich. The nation can overcome the menace of unemployment with agriculture.
“It’s high time we stopped seeing farming as old people’s business. In my Constituency, a lot of sensitisation had been carried out to the need to engage the youth in farming.
“There is need for us to focus more on commercial agriculture than being mere peasant farmers.
“With agriculture, you can become self-reliant and employer of labour,” he advised.
Mr Bassy Chima, Coordinator of RIFAN in Ebonyi, also commended the federal and state governments on agricultural development with the Anchor Borrowers programme.
On the distribution of the farm inputs, Chima said that the items include: herbicides, fertilisers, rice seedlings among others.
“This is a loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), through the Anchor Borrowers programme.
“They are meant for the real farmers and not for political farmers.
“The inputs are going to be distributed to the 13 local governments in Ebonyi.
“We are into mapping now and, after it, we can say the number of beneficiaries from one local government area to the other,” he said.
Mrs Adaku Anyanwu, representative of CBN, urged the farmers to make good use of the inputs to promote food security.
A Beneficiary, Mrs Ngozi Akpuka, hailed the federal and state governments support to rice farmers in Ebonyi and prayed that she should have good planting and harvest in the season. (NAN)