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Abia: Ministry of Agriculture encourage residents to farm

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Abia State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Uzo Azubuike, announced in Aba on Wednesday that the state government has bought fertilizers for the 2017 farming season.Azubuike said farmers can get a bag for N6000 and fertilizers would be sold on first come, first served basis.

Azubuike said farmers can get a bag for N6000 and fertilizers would be sold on first come, first served basis.

The fertilizers have been ready since Wednesday, April 19.

The Commissioner also said the ministry is creating avenues for young people to participate in agriculture particularly mushroom farming.

He said: “The mushroom production is our own creation. We have brought experts who have established a mushroom farm right on the premises of the Ministry of Agriculture in Umuahia, and what we have done there is to create another avenue so that our people would not think that agriculture is limited to growing of yam, cassava, plantain and all that.”

“The mushroom production is our own creation. We have brought experts who have established a mushroom farm right on the premises of the Ministry of Agriculture in Umuahia, and what we have done there is to create another avenue so that our people would not think that agriculture is limited to growing of yam, cassava, plantain and all that.”

“We are creating new areas that would absorb our graduates. The mushroom farm is a very technical and highly sophisticated aspect of farming where you do not need to dig any hole. The farm grows under an air-conditioned environment. You can put on your white cloth and go to the farm without going under the sun. It uses an in-house technique. And you know today people are looking away from animal protein to things like this.”

Azubuike said the agriculture ministry had planned training 340 farmers before the end of April on mushroom farming to boost its production and to meet a very high demand for mushroom. “So we are training 40 youths per local government. That is how we want to start so that many people will now go into that.”

On oil palm plantation, the commissioner said the state planned to raise about 10 million palm seedlings between 2016 and 2018.

“We have a target of raising 10.5 million seedlings from 2016 to 2018 within our regime. We have started a nursery sitting at Ahiaba-Umueze in Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Area of Abia state. For now people have over-subscribed the two million that we have raised. This year we are going to raise another three million and next year we are going to do 2.5 million and that will hit our target of 7.5 million seedlings.

“We hope that in the next five to six years, Abia state would not need to attend the Federation Allocation Committee meeting in Abuja before it can pay workers salaries or build its roads. We want to wholly depend on our agricultural products,” he explained.

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Solomon Obende
Solomon Obende is a graduate of Public Administration from the prestigious Ambrose Alli University who is passionate about communications for development. He is proficient in crafting effective social media strategies. He listens to Jimmy Cliff's songs daily.

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