By John Ndu : Anambra State government has revealed its plan to further boost rice production and put to an end the local method of rice milling by small scale farmers and equip them with modern facilities within the next two years so as to ensure rice sufficiency.

The plan was disclosed when a delegation from the Senior Executive Course 39 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Abuja, paid a courtesy visit to the state governor, at the governor’s Lodge, Amawbia.

The delegation is on a one-week study visit to the state as part of activities for the fulfilment of the requirements for their eight months course which has as its theme Interaction of Science, Technology and Innovation in the development of Agriculture and Agro-allied Businesses.

The state governor, Chief Willie Obiano while receiving the delegation restated that all his administrative policies were to make the state a first choice investment destination and a hub for industrialization and commercial activities.

Governor Obiano who expressed dissatisfaction on the unhygienic method of local milling, said the state government would soon finalize negotiations with standard companies to ensure adequate collaboration with local farmers, to send their paddy to different high class processors for mechanized milling.

Chief Obiano noted that in 3years, his government had surpassed the State’s 325,000 metric tons of rice per annum consumption capacity with its production capacity of close to 400,000 capacity which was achieved mainly through his government’s partnership with Agro investors.

Governor Obiano said the State under his watch had recorded tremendous successes in the Agricultural sector due to his unprecedented policies which had attracted investors, geared towards reviving the sector to be more viable for socio � economic activities and transforming the state.

Through the blueprint, he noted, his government was able to streamline the activities of small holders farmers and the big commercial investors so as to identify their separate needs and challenges as well as how they can be supported to be at their best in their activities.

The Governor while expressing delight that Anambra was chosen for the study tour, said he hopes that the exercise will give impetus to ongoing efforts at revolutionizing the State agricultural sector to make it more robust for participation by every segment of the society.

Earlier, the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu observed that the theme of the course was central to the realization of the key development pillar of the Obiano administration which is agriculture where it has made significant progress in the past three years.

The Leader of the delegation and Librarian of the Institute, Dr Emmanuel Mamma said the Institute is government’s think tank for policy research which conducts courses for policy makers and executors, aimed at widening their outlook on aspects of administration and improving their decision making capabilities.

He explained that the study visit was on the directive of the Presidency, designed to underscore how science, technology and innovation have contributed towards revolutionizing Agriculture in Anambra which according to him, was a model state in Agriculture.

In a vote of thanks, one of the Course Participants from Delta State, Mr Jerome Muoka commended the state for providing a viable option for the study course adding that at the end of the exercise, a report that will detail their findings and recommendations will be developed to aid further advancements in the area.

Exchange of souvenirs between the Governor and the visitors formed the highpoint of the event

Source: Anambra State Government