Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, at the 21st Agip Farmers Day Celebration, called upon the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to partner with the state government in attempting to resuscitate the rice production industry within the region.
His representative at the event, Rear Admiral Gboriobiogha John-Jonah, (rtd.), who is also the Deputy Governor, lamented the moribund state of rice production, stressing that it actually has the potential to greatly benefit the state and Nigeria.
He further noted that the step taken by Agip to not only empower but train the entire value chain of the farming community is quite commendable and urged them to continue with it.
The governor said: “I want Agip to take a critical look at Rice farms like the Peremabiri Rice farms and other in the state and collaborate with us to ensure that those farms are brought back to life to take care of the young men and women who are idle”.
He hinted that the only pathway to perpetual prosperity and self-reliance is agriculture.
Further speaking, He said: “Knowing what farming means to the average rural dwellers when we came in 2012, we sent some young men and women to the Songhai Farms in the Benin Republic on their return, some of them are on their own and I am sure that they must be benefitting from this project.”
The Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, NAOC, Massimo Insulla, had, in his brief remark, stated that the annual Farmers’ Day was set aside by the company and its venture partners to celebrate the achievements of farmers over the last planting season.
He also disclosed that the annual project has served as a veritable tool for sustainable development and food sufficiency and had offered a platform where farmers, farmers cooperative society, youths cooperative societies and agro-allied organizations can come together to showcase their products, produce and services.