The Enugu State government, through the World Bank Assisted CARES Program, has distributed agricultural inputs for dry season farming to 2,000 farmers in rural areas to boost agricultural productivity, employment generation and economic stimulation.
Representing Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi at the flag-off of the distribution, which included inputs such as cassava stems, rice seeds, fertilizer and herbicides, Deputy Gov. Cecilia Ezeilo disclosed that the exercise would be replicated in another two senatorial districts.
Dry season farming improves food availability and ensures better pricing all year round. It is mainly used to cultivate crops like rice, maize, cotton, tomatoes and other vegetables.
One major way farmers meet the food requirements of Nigeria’s growing population is through continuous food production and farming activities, covering both wet and dry seasons.
Ezeilo added that the initiative was mainly meant to reach poor and vulnerable farmers, thereby resulting in economic empowerment, poverty alleviation and a reduction of conflict-inducing social inequalities.
“The improved inputs for distribution in this event were acquired by the state government in line with the recommendation of the State CARES Committee that the agricultural inputs intervention targets agriculture value chains in which the state has comparative advantage, namely rice farming and cassava farming,” Ezeilo explained.
State Commissioner for Agriculture Matthew Idu similarly pointed out that the exercise would increase food production, stressing that it was one of many measures to address the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also in attendance at the event were Sam Ngene, chairman of the House Committee on Health and Agriculture; Uche Eze, commissioner for education; Mathias Ekweremadu Jr., commissioner for transport; and Mike Ogbuekwe, special advisor on agriculture.