Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa, has restated his administration’s commitment towards achieving food security through mechanised agricultural production.
Diri stated this on Friday while flagging off the 2020 Farming Season and World Food Day celebrations at the Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall in Government House, Yenagoa.
Represented by his Deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the governor noted that although Bayelsa has comparative advantage in almost all areas of agriculture, the present administration was focusing on four key areas of rice, casava, fishery and plantain production.
In a statement by the Media Aide to the deputy governor, Mr Doubara Atasi, the state government called on farmers and other development partners to join hands with the government to revolutionise agriculture and transform the economic fortunes of the state.
The governor stressed that the fulcrum of his prosperity agenda lies on the four cardinal points of agriculture, entrepreneurship, skill acquisition and youth empowerment, assuring that government would not rest until it achieved food security.
He maintained that government has started the DiriBoost Empowerment Scheme in addition to securing a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) loan facility to boost agricultural and small-scale entrepreneurial activities.
According to the statement, Diri also called on youths of the state to take advantage of government’s huge investment in the agric sector to be self reliant rather than being dependent on politicians.
Describing farming as a dignified profession, he said government was willing to support farmers in order to make the state self sufficient in food production.
“Our people have been using crude, difficult and very challenging methods to produce agriculturally, and so, they have not been able to produce enough food for us to eat and sell to make good money.
“The Prosperity government does not believe in that method of production. We believe in mechanised agricultural production.
“But to succeed, we believe that all of us must put our hands on deck to achieve greater prosperity through agriculture.
“As you are aware, a lot of farms have been established and clearing is ongoing in several communities for the purposes of ensuring that we have food sufficiency.
“You are also aware that the Federal Government and the State Government are partnering and we have obtained some loans through the gracious efforts of the CBN for which capacity is being deployed.”
In his welcome address, Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chief David Alagoa, described food as the essence of life and praised farmers for their resilience through the trying period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He remarked that government was taking a lot of steps, which include engagement of development partners and farmers to transform the agricultural sector, assuring that his ministry would serve as a rallying point for the growth of the sector in the state.
Delivering a goodwill message, Chairman, Bayelsa State House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture, Rt Hon. Tonye Isenah, expressed the readiness of the legislature to partner the executive arm of government, especially in the area of budgeting to improve agriculture in the state.
As part of the event, the deputy governor, the Secretary to the State Government, Konbowei Benson, and other government officials visited the exhibition stands that showcased various indigenous agricultural products.
Edited By: Cecilia Odey/Emmanuel Okara
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