Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Programme Manager of the Anambra State Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) Mr. Jude Nwankwo has observed that it is only agriculture that can save the people from another disaster shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nwankwo said that coronavirus was deadly but emphasized that hunger virus was more deadly, noting that there was need for the citizenry to embrace agriculture either at subsistence or commercial levels.
The Anambra ADP boss who disclosed this to our correspondent in an interview on Wednesday, said that the state governor Chief Willie Obiano had flagged-off this year’s farming season online due to the Covid-19 crisis and assured citizens that governnent was doing its utmost to guarantee food security in the state.
He said that at the moment, governnent has commenced the distribution of farm imputs to farmers in all the 21 local government areas of Anambra state and that extension agents of the ADP also educate farmers on best agronomic practices to ensure that farmers dwell on organic farming.
Nwankwo emphasized that Governor Obiano should be commended for his agric-friendly disposition as well as the various initiatives and innovations he introduced in the sector to ensure that the people of Anambra state have enough food on their tables while the battle against coronavirus continues.
According to him, “We are distributing improved cassava stems, organic fertilizers, cage for birds and some other imputs. Ideally the governor flagged-off farming season sometime last week online and we believe that life goes on after Covid19.
“We are working to ensure that there is food security in Anambra state otherwise a bigger monster will confront the people after Covid-19 which is hunger.
“ADP, FADAMA, Value Chain and other programmes domiciled in the state ministry of agriculture synergise to ensure there is enough food for Anambrarians and beyond.”
He also pointed out that one of the primary responsibilities of the Anambra State Agricultural Development Programme is to ensure that farmers adhere strictly to best practices, stressing that the ADP through its extension service providers ensure that farmers get right information on best ways to plant, maintain and manage as well as harvest and add value.
Nwankwo further disclosed that apart from teaching farmers on the best ways to plant crops, they also teach them that it is safety first and that they should take precautions to ensure that they are not infected with the Covid-19 virus as they go about their farming activities.
The ADP boss however reiterated his position that the next monster that will attack the people is hunger and according to him, everybody is encouraged to go into agriculture, noting that agriculture is an insurance against hunger and poverty even as he exhibited great expectations that farmers will have bumper harvest this year because governnent has begun distribution of improved fertilizers and other farm implements in spite of the coronavirus pandemic.