The Deputy Governor of Anambra, Dr Nkem Okeke, has said that the state is expecting to produce 300, 000 tonnes of rice between now and early 2017.
Okeke made the disclosure when he received the World Bank/Federal Government joint supervision team in his office in Awka. According to him, the state is targeting 210, 000 tonnes of rice before the end of 2016. He said the state was competing with other rice producing states in the country due to its sustainable environment for the product. “Our land is good to grow rice and our priority in the state is on agriculture and that is why we are embarking on land development. “I once met the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development at an event in Abuja and I discussed with him on land development for agriculture throughout the nation. According to him, government of Anambra has earmarked large expanses of land in the state for agricultural purposes.
While commenting on the numerous projects embarked in the state by the World Bank/FG through FADAMA III Additional Financing, Okeke said they would go a long way to assist the state in achieving its target. On the security situation, Okeke assured the team of adequate security of any investment in the state. He added that there is no state or nation that could work creditably well, if there is no proper security of property and lives of its citizens and that of investors.
Earlier, Mr Patrick Chukwuka, Project Coordinator, Anambra State FADAMA III AF, said the team came to assess level of implementation of its projects in the state. “It might interest you to know that throughout this year alone, FADAMA III AF in partnership with Federal Government has embarked on a lot of rice projects in the state.” Chukwuka briefed the deputy governor that FADAMA III AF had carried out rice production in eight local government areas of Anambra East, West, Awka North, Ayamelum, Ihiala, Orumba North, Orumba South and Ogbaru.
He said its projects had also reflected in infrastructural development such as roads construction to assist the farmers to access their farms and bring out their produce to the market. “Presently, it is constructing 13 feeder roads of about 40km to 45km across the benefiting communities and the roads are in various states of completion,” he said.
On his own, Dr Ben Albert, who led the team expressed pleasure over the support given to the World Bank/Federal Government projects in the state. “It is our pleasure to be in your state to assess the level of development of the WB/FG projects in Anambra. ” I must say that I am proud of the state branch for its commitment over execution of our projects.
“We have done quit a number of projects and have recorded huge success,” Albert said. According to him, agricultural mechanization centre will soon be set up in the state and very soon tractors will be supplied in addition to what the state is doing. “Also, agro-business orientation will be introduced to make sure that farmers make a lot of income without being cheated,” he said.