By Uchenna Ezeadigwe
The Anambra state government had concluded plans to kick-start programmes by June this year in a bid to improve and develop Anambra state Agro-farm market in major cities across the country, starting with the Anambra.
The commissioner for agriculture, mechanization, processing and export, Mr. Afam Mbanefo made this known during stakeholder’s workshop on knowledge sharing organised by the State Coordination Office of FGN/IFAD VCDP for their farmers in Awka.
The knowledge sharing workshop which attracted various local farmers on rice and cassava from various participating council areas of the state, climaxed with the inspection of the exhibition and displaying various food commodities such, crayfish, maize, rice and cassava among others.
According to Mr. Mbanefo, the ministry was working closely with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, and other regulatory agencies for global acceptability of Anambra state agricultural produce.
Describing the workshop as one geared towards enhancing productivity in agriculture, he stressed that they were networking processors and fabricators since, according to him, the value chain in rice and cassava farming were enormous.
The state programme coordinator, FGN/IFAD/ VCDP, Mr. Nnamdi Agwuncha, added that the agency’s seventh mission would soon arrive the state. “IFAD/VCDP will assess the state’s level of implementation, address some challenges, give correction where necessary and as well see some implemented sustainability measures”.
Mr. Agwuncha pleaded with the Commodity Agricultural Forum, CAF, to come up with value chain financing. However, he pointed out over dependency on grant by farmers, as one of the programme’s major challenges.
Also speaking at the event a senior standards officer, with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, Mr. Monday Mbam, identified constructive agric education, good land reforms, irrigation facilities, transportation and others as ways of achieving enhanced agricultural activities.
According to him, one of the beneficiaries Mrs. Ngozi Ebue from Omor Ayamelum local government area, said her farming became interesting when she started receiving improved income and making reasonable benefits.