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Food security: Lawmaker calls for more youths in farming

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By Lawrence Nwimo

The lawmaker representing Njikoka, Aniocha and Dunukofia federal constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon Ferdinand Dozie Nwankwo, has called for improved participation in farming activities in the country.

Nwankwo said this at an event marking the official opening of a giant rice producing firm in Agulu, Anambra state on Saturday and added that such participation would ensure food sufficiency in the country.

He spoke extensively on the importance of agriculture to Nigeria and Nigerians saying that the farm will not only provide food sufficiency across the country but was also a means of employment to the vast number of unemployed Nigerians. He said it is not easy to develop the kind of vision that is geared towards solving one of the biggest problems facing the country presently which is insufficiency of food adding that he had already moved a motion in the House that suggested that the way to go is agriculture, vowing to do everything within his power to see that agricultural projects such as the one being opened grew without hitches.

He decried the inability of Nigeria to export such commodities as rice and cassava and challenged the people to embrace farming as it will go a long way to help the country. He said that Nigeria must go back to her roots to revive the economy.

Earlier, the founder of the factory, Comrade Imoka Azubike Damian said that his major reason for the project was to assuage the sufferings of the people that travel to other parts of the country in search of quality processed and packaged rice and other agricultural products, assuring that such products would be provided at very affordable price in his factory.

Speaking to Orient Daily shortly, he said that the factory, unlike others like it, did not apply fertiliser during production of their rice.  “The uniqueness of my rice is that my farm does not use fertiliser or any chemical. We only use chemicals to kill grasses. Our rice does not have any chemical combination. It is as natural as it should be.”

He commended the federal government for banning the importation of rice, stressing that most of what Nigerians import into the country were rejected outside.

The member representing Orumba North and South Federal Constituency, Hon Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo, was of the opinion that the project had shown that people had started to key into the agriculture sector. He said that the project would help to create opportunities for people of Agulu and beyond.

Meanwhile, the president general, Agulu People’s Union of Nigeria, Chief Andy Orakwelu in an interview with Orient Daily said that the project was in line with the think-home initiative being clamoured for.

Orakwelu said the country was drifting from oil to agriculture which, according to him, must be a good omen. The handwriting is on the wall, he said, was that every day, the oil price kept going down, an indication that “this is the alternative that we need and there is no immediate alternative than agriculture because, good or bad, Nigerians must eat.”

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