Food Security: NG-CARES Distributes Farm Inputs

To further boost food production in the state, Twenty Eight (28) Farmers from Umuobiakwa and Mgboko Omeni Farmers Community Associations in Obingwa LGA have received 84 bags of N.P.K. and Urea Fertilizers, 112 cans of herbicide and 840 bundles of cassava stems from the Abia State Food Security NG- CARES RESULT AREA 2 Project to further boost food production in the State.

Speaking before handing over the cassava inputs to the beneficiaries at Umuobiakwa Obingwa LGA, Commissioner for Agriculture Professor Ikechi Mgboji said the gesture was approved and funded by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to cushion the negative economic effects of COVID 19 on different communities across the state.
Professor Mgboji noted that Umuobiakwa has a long history of farming expressing optimism that the beneficiaries will put the inputs into good use and thanked Governor Ikpeazu and the Management of NG-CARES office for empowering the people.
Also speaking, the Project Coordinator, Abia State food security NG- Cares result Area 2 Project, Pastor Ibe Johnson said some farmers will receive cassava inputs, others cassava assets while the rest will be empowered with piggery, poultry and fishery assets.

Expressing their gratitude on behalf of other beneficiaries, the chairman Umuobiakwa Farmers Community Association Mr Emeka Irondi, Joy Ugochukwu and Ugbomma Enemanna thanked the state government and the management of Abia State NG-Cares project for coming to empower them and promised to make good use of theNG-CARES

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Similarly, a rice thresher,water pump,11 knapsack sprayers, dozens of personal protective equipment have been presented to members of Umuezike Ofeme Farmers Community Association to further enhance rice production in the state.
Handing over the items to the farmers at Umuezike Town Hall Ofeme in Umuahia North LGA, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture Mr Okey Ihedioha enjoined the beneficiaries to make optimal use of the items to boast rice production in the state,stressing that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is interested in ensuring the availability of food such as rice on the table of Abians.
The Permanent Secretary represented by the Head Technical Abia State COVID 19 Action Recovery Economic Stimulus Result Area 2, Amarachi Kalu informed the farmers that the availability of the equipment will ease the laborious nature of traditional rice threshing, enhance their production capacity and increase their income in line with the objective of the Nigerian COVID 19 Action Recovery Economic Stimulus Result Area 2 and urged them to ensure that the equipment are well maintained at all times to enable it last longer.
Speaking earlier the Project Coordinator, Abia State COVID-19 Action Recovery Economic Stimulus Result Area 2 Pastor Johnson Ibe represented by the Communication Officer of the Project Mr Kanu Gerald recalled that the project has been supporting farmers affected by the COVID 19 pandemic and stated that more than 30 Farmers Community Associations across the State have received cassava inputs.
He assured that more communities within the rice belt of the state will get more assets and equipment to enable them boost food production in the state and urged those that are in poultry,fishery and piggery to exercise patience with the office.
According to him, the project which is geared towards ameliorating the challenges faced by farmers in the post COVID-19 era has a target of more than six thousand farmers and reminded the farmers on the need to judiciously use whatever that is given to them to enable others benefit.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, the Chairman Umuezike Ofeme Farmers Community Association, Mr Kenneth Onyeukwu thanked the State Governor Dr Okezie Ikpeazu for his interest in ensuring food security in Abia State and promised that they will reciprocate government gestures by ensuring all year round rice cultivation in the community as well as optimal use of the NG-CARES.

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According to NG-CARES, the Result Area 2 of the project in the state have meticulousy screened and validated beneficiaries, both individuals and communities and has provided farming inputs such as fertilizers,pesticide and cassava bundles to verified vulnerable farmers within the Farmers Community Associations across the state which include those of Igbere in Bende LGA, Umuogele and Anya Mbutu,Isieketa in Isialangwa North, Osusu in Aba North as well as Isingwu and Ofeme in Umuahia North just to mention but a few.

More than four hundred beneficiaries have been given Knapsack sprayers and personal protective equipment to aid their farming activities. Also six numbers of pumping machines have been given out to some FCA’s.

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Critical infrastructures such as roads, dams are not left out.Currently being implemented and at various stages of completion are six numbers Solar powered boreholes to upgrade wet markets, improve water and sanitation services across the State in wet markets to reduce the risk of Covid 19 spread.