The impact of Federal Government’s agricultural policies that complemented those of Ebonyi Government has led to a reduction in the price of rice in the state, a government official has said.
Mr Friedrick Nwangbo, Coordinator, Amasiri Development Centre, Afikpo North Council of Ebonyi, made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Abakaliki on Friday.
Nwangbo praised the Federal Government’s agricultural interventions such as early distribution of seedlings and other farm inputs, acceptable agronomic practices and grants to farmers boosted rice production.
He said that the interventions which were favourable to farmers contributed to the bountiful rice harvest and other crops in the state.
“This in turn led to a drastic reduction of the produce’s price as a bag of rice which hitherto sold for N14, 000 and above now sells between N4,000 and N5, 000.
“The impact of this intervention was felt more by the personal visit of Chief Audu Ogbeh, Minsiter of Agriculture and Rural Development to the state among other visible Federal Government’s agricultural interventions,’’ he said.
The coordinator, however, urged the Federal Government to subsidise the price of farm inputs given to farmers for increased and sustained food production.
“This will guarantee increased demand for agricultural produce and their price reduction as this success could have been recorded without the pragmatic agricultural revolution of the state government,’’ he said.
The coordinator, however, expressed regret about the activities of herdsmen which, he said, if unchecked, could jeopardise governments’ efforts at improving agricultural production.
“It is contradictory for the people to be sensitised to approach agriculture as a business instead of as a means of subsistence and their farm produce destroyed by the herdsmen’s cows.
“The herdsmen should be made to realise that their herding activities are beneficial as businesses to them, while farming activities of individuals are also important to them.
“During the last festive season in Ebonyi, for instance, several cows were purchased and used for the celebrations yet their sellers did not reduce the price for the people who bought them,’’ he said.
He restated that Gov. David Umahi deserved to be re-elected in 2019 due to his strides in agriculture, infrastructure, economy and other segments of the state’s existence.
“His endorsement by several categories of persons and groups proves that he has fulfilled his 2015 election promises to the people and even surpassed their expectations.
“Individuals have the constitutional rights to contest in elections but the electorate will no longer be deceived with phony promises but convinced with evidences of electoral promises fulfilled,’’ he said.