Ebonyi State Government will next month launch a one-man, one-hectare scheme in its determined effort to make the state Nigeria’s number one rice producer.
Governor David Umahi made this known in Abakaliki during an Agricultural Summit for Civil and Public Servants on Thursday.
Umahi, at the well attended event, said his administration would guarantee loans from the federal government in order to encourage the civil and public servants to restore the state’s pride of place in the agricultural sector.
His words,“As a sovereign state, we must be prepared to continue to be a sovereign state. I am appealing to our civil servants to key into this programme.
“Government will give you soft loan. A loan that will come from the federation account. We will guarantee it so that you will get it. In August we are going to do a launching of one-man, one -hectare in Ebonyi State.
The governor also told the gathering that his administration was determined to “empower over 1,000 of our youths and 1,000 of our women to go into agriculture and other semi-skilled business that would take off with soft loans.
He said that his government was “ planning to have six mega cities in Ebonyi State,” adding that any local government area that was able to provide 5,000 hectares of land would serve as the pilot ground.
According to Umahi, the world Bank and CBN had already indicated interest in the project which will also have irrigation facility.
The governor added, “We will put some social amenities there. we will put the rice husk power plant. We will put rice mill and buying centre. We are going to work with our consultant. When we met World Bank and discussed that with them, they said they are working in Kogi State. If the Ministry of Agriculture gives approval, they will include Ebonyi.”
He restated his government’s commitment to the welfare of workers and appealed to them to key into his vision of boosting the state’s economy through agriculture.
He added that four new buses with airconditioners had been purchased by his government to ease transportation of workers to the Centennary City. The city partly serves as the state’s new secretariat.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Barrister Uchenna Orji, had said that the government was targeting 80,000 farmers to be involved in the agricultural revolution this year.