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Ndoma– Egba: The senator as the ‘farm boy’

By Emmanuel Una
WORRIED by the dwindling  number of farmers and the continued  sticking to traditional  farming  practices  by those still in the ‘field’, Senator Victor Ndoma Egba, Senate Leader, demonstrated his passion for farming by organising an outreach for famers in his senatorial district.

The outreach engaged  agricultural experts from the University of Calabar to educate the teeming crowd of farmers on how to acquire modern farming techniques  and also guide them through processes for accessing loans and grants from finance houses and the Ministry of Agriculture to  ease the stress  associated with old farming practices and  maximise  their productivity.

Ndoma-Egba-farmerThe  farmers, with rapt attention,  listened to the  resource persons,  led by Professor Ndifon, a  lecturer in the Faculty of Agriculture of the  University of Calabar, as they were taken on a step-by-step approach on how to apply farm inputs like organic and inorganic fertlisers, pesticides and  herbicides  which make  farming  less strenuous  yet guarantees good  harvest.

Born and bred in Akparabong, a cocoa producing community in Ikom, Central Senatorial District of  Cross River State, where farming is the predominant occupation, Ndoma-Egba, even as his father rode to become  an Appeal Court judge, was a farm boy who actively engaged in the age old trade by joining his siblings in the farm settlement and this passion  has remained in him.

The outreach assembled farmers from the six local government areas of the district:  Obubra, Boki, Etung, Yakkur, Abi and Ikom. In  addition to inculcating in them  modern farming knowledge, they were given farm inputs   like rice and  yam seedlings as well as  herbicides and pesticides  free

During the outreach, the Senate Leader also donated  agricultural inputs and improved seedlings for onward distribution to thousands of other  farmers in the six local government areas of  his senatorial district.
The items worth several millions of naira,  Ndoma Egba told  Sunday Vanguard are for the first phase of the farmers empowerment  which would be a continuous exercise  to enable the farmers build capacity to produce more food to boost their income.

“The Central Senatorial District is a multi-purpose farming zone with quite  a good  number of agricultural products produced here and to make the farmers produce more  we have to strengthen their effort”, he stated.

The Senate Leader expressed satisfaction  with the result achieved by the programme, especially the enthusiasm shown  by  farmers who turned up  in their thousands at the Ikom Council Hall and remained seated for several hours to receive the knowledge in order  to imbibe  new farming  skills. Ndoma-Egba  assured that  the exercise  was  a pilot project whose  frequency will be increased with  more  agricultural inputs and  seedlings distributed  to the farmers.

Expressing immense gratitude to the Senate Leader, the  Chairman of Ikom Local Government Council, Mr Ayiba Ayiba Ojong, said  the farmers outreach programme and the items distributed to the farmers will go a long way ensuring that the farmers plant more crops this planting season and boost their harvest.

The Paramount Ruler of Ikom,  Ntulem Peter Njul Eku, appealed to  Ndoma-Egba and  Cross River State governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, to assist  farmers in the senatorial district by establishing  rice and cocoa processing mills to enable farmers add value to their produce before taking them to the market to ensure adequate pricing.



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