Grant large scale farmers access to facilities to boost agric
By; VICTOR DURUAMAKU, Owerri.
Following the dwindling economic resources in the country, the federal government has been called upon to make available, access loan facilities to the tune of N500 million to large scale farmers to boost agricultural production in the country.
Speaking with New Nigerian in Owerri over the weekend, a large scale farmer in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State, Chief Luke O. Chukwu believed that an average large scale farmer in the country requires nothing less than the sum of N500m to help boost agricultural production and create employment opportunity in the country.
Chief Chukwu, who is into mechanized farming, said that the huge loan facility, would enable the farmer to procure mechanized farming equipment such as tractors, bulldozers and ploughing.
According to him, with these equipments, a mechanised farmer can operate large farm that can give employment to unemployed graduate youths.
He explained that that apart from employing people, the farmer would also train young farmers on how to be self reliant.
Chukwu, who is also into food and livestock production, noted that Nigeria as a country has a lot of agricultural potentials to make her food sufficient.
He asserted that in Imo State has what it takes to produce and export food items to other countries of the world, pointing out that “we can hardly import food from the North, we have the land, our land is fertile and big, we have the manpower, but government assistance is needed”.
For the state to achieve the feat of exporting agricultural produce, he advised governor Okorocha to make a policy that make possible for any person to be appointed as a permanent secretary in the ministry of agriculture to be a graduate of agriculture and a practicing farmer, having a good bias for agriculture.
He further stated that the policy will also allow only an agriculturist and practicing farmer to head the ministry of agriculture as a commissioner.
“I will advise Governor Rochas Okorocha to appoint a professional farmer the commissioner for agriculture in Imo state who knows what to do. When you give it to somebody who did not read agriculture, he wouldn’t know where to start. Now that he is trying to reform the ministries he should find a permanent secretary who has a bias in agriculture and have interest in farming to be the permanent secretary ministry of agriculture”, Chukwu advised.