Posted by News Express | 3 August 2015 | 3,323 times
The Ebonyi State Government says it will survey and register all farmlands in the state to stop the practice of government taking lands of farmers without compensation.
Chief Dave Umahi, Governor of the state, said this today in Abakaliki during a colloquium for stakeholders on ways of moving the agricultural sector forward in the state.
“It is sad to see farmers lose their farmlands to government under such circumstances, as the farmlands are usually their only sources of income though government needs the lands to site industries and other infrastructure,” he said.
The governor suggested that people could form cooperative societies, register their lands individually and aggregate them to be used as collaterals to obtain loans.
Umahi added: “When this is implemented, each cooperative society should have about 50 hectares of land which when surveyed, would amount to its total shareholding in a cooperative arrangement.
The governor said that the government would ensure the stoppage of planting three tones per hectare –yield in rice planting.
“We hope to commence this from next January, as we would ensure we bring in rice species that would yield ‘seven tones-per hectre’ and more,” he said.
Umahi noted that he informed President Muhammadu Buhari and the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, that Ebonyi State could provide the rice needs of the country with adequate incentives.
Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources in the state, Mr Uchenna Orji, said the governor convened the colloquium to enhance agriculture in the state, especially in the area of rice production.
“The present economic reality in Nigeria has made states to use agriculture to tap their hidden potentials in the face of steady fall in oil prices,” Orji said.
He noted that he would ensure that no farmland in the state would lie fallow, as the ministry would seek government’s approval and House of Assembly legal backing to make local government areas and development centers develop demonstration farms.
The Guest Lecturer at the colloquium, Prof. Martins Anikwe, in his paper titled, ‘Ebonyi, Tapping the Huge Potentials and Incentives in Rice Production’, said that the government could achieve its goals with improved mechansation in rice production.
Goodwill messages were delivered at the occasion by agencies such as the CBN, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and officials of tertiary institutions with emphasis on agriculture.
•Photo shows Governor Umahi.
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