Some participants at the seminar in Awka
By Sunny A. David
A one day seminar on “using farming to address issues of socio – economic and security challenges in Africa,” has ended in Awka with a call on participants from diverse professions, to delve into agriculture for business purpose.
The call was made by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Nnamdi Onukwuba, during the event organized by Zodac Brain Films Limited, in collaboration with Farmers Support Initiative, held at Faculty of Arts Auditorium, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Farmers Support Initiative is a UK based charity organization that promotes farming in Africa and Asia, focusing on advocacy, information, training and logistic assistance.
Addressing the participants, Mr. Onukwuba said that the Anambra State blue print on agriculture has yielded positive results as the State’s youth participation in agriculture has increased.
Mr. Onukwuba described increase in rice, cassava and vegetable productions in the state in the last five years, as unprecedented.
He maintained that apart from ongoing verifiable export of vegetables from Anambra State to Europe and America, the state government is still doing everything within its powers to encourage massive production of Efi Igbo in the State.
In his keynote address, the International Director of FS Initiative, Mr. Ikenna Offor, lamented that in the midst of affluence, many Africans wallow in abject poverty leading to gross migration to more developed countries of the world.
Others who spoke during the occasion including the Director Sustainable Demonstration farms and also a Midwife, Dr. Stella Iwuagwu, the outgoing and incoming FS Initiative Face of Youths in Farming Business, Messrs Chuks Chukwumaijem and Jerry Efobi, regretted the attitude of Africans who according to them, see agriculture as an alternative instead of a lucrative business venture.
In his remarks, the Anchor of the program and a comedian, Chief Chika Okpala, popularly known as Zebrudaya, said there is dire need for Africans to put in their best in agriculture so as to reduce unemployment and crime.
while calling on all and sundry to take the sensitization and knowledge of agriculture to all nooks and crannies of the world, as farming not only feeds the nation but also caters for the development of its economy.
Others who attended the event included, The Permanent Secretary, Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emma Udeh-Akpeh and Mr. Gab Okpalaeze, among others, while Performance by Zerubrudaya and group to depict the aim of the event added glamour to the occasion.