The Enugu State governor, Peter Mbah has assured that his administration will eradicate hunger and poverty in the state and unlock the rural economy through investment in agriculture and agro-industrialisation.
Governor Mbah, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Chidiebere Onyia, said this during the celebration of the 2023 World Food Day in Enugu on Tuesday.
Mbah said the state government was intensifying efforts to grow the economy of the state from $4.4 billion to $30 billion through massive investment in agriculture by attracting investors, empowering the farmers and opening the rural economy of the state.
The governor, while inspecting the various categories of food items exhibited at the event, lauded the farmers in the state for their efforts in producing different types of foods, maintaining that his administration would ensure that Enugu farmers enjoyed the best support to help boost the economy of the state.
“The farmers and farming are going to be a very critical tool for us to eliminate poverty. Farming is going to play a pivotal role in our quest to grow the economy of Enugu State. We have said that we will grow the economy of the state from $4.4 billion to $30 billion and we cannot this without making massive investment in our agricultural sector.
“We have seen the products we have comparative advantage on, and I must say that it is heartwarming. We want to assure food security in Enugu, and we are hoping that by the time we gather here next year, there won’t be enough space for us to display our farm products,” he said.
Speaking on the theme of the event “Water is life, water is food, and leave no one behind”, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Agro Industrialisation, Patrick Ubru, while delivering his welcome address, said that the ‘World Food Day’ serves as a global reminder on the intricate connection between water and food, underscoring the indispensable role water plays in ensuring food security and nutrition for all.
The commissioner while commending the state governor on the relentless efforts he has been making in ensuring that Ndi Enugu have portable water in the state, maintained that with reliable access to water, farmers in the state can engage in year-round farming activities, increase crop yields, and diversify their agricultural practices to enhance food production and contribute to rural development, poverty eradication and improve livelihoods.
“As we celebrate World Food Day today, let us reflect on the positive strides we have taken in the provision of water and its impact on our agricultural landscape. Let us recognize the transformative power of water in empowering our farmers and ensuring food security for all.
“It is a testament to the fact that when we prioritize the needs of our communities and work together, we can overcome even the most significant challenges,” Ubru said.
The event was attended by the Chief Whip and Chairman, House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture and Agro-industrialization, Hon. Ejike Eze, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr Gerald Otiji, Commissioner for Labour and Employment, Pharm. Chika Ugwoke, Special Adviser to the governor on Donor Relations, Dubem Onyia (jr), and the Executive Secretary, Enugu State Agricultural Development Program (ENADEP), Ogbonna Onyeishi, among other dignitaries and farmers associations.