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2 Ugwuoba Street, off Nza Street, Independence Layout, Enugu.

Mbah commissions rice, cashew processing centres, poultry clusters


…as Enugu ALGON hails projects, enjoins youths to embrace farming

Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State has commissioned multiple rice and cashew centres, including poultry clusters across the three senatorial zones in the state which are expected to enhance food production, modernize food processing method and preserve post-harvest produce.

The groundbreaking ceremony which took place at Nara in Nkanu East Local Government Area of the state, had fifteen number Aggregation and Cottage Processing Centres constructed within the first 100 days of Governor Mbah’s administration by the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS), a World Bank Assisted Project, to help farmers to facilitate storage, processing and prevent post-harvest losses.

While commending the project as the result of the administration’s commitment to boost food production and turn the state to a net exporter of agricultural products within the next four years, Governor Mbah, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, said the agricultural revolution of the state has moved from pipeline to platform and from template to execution.

“My administration anchors the sustainability of our economy on agriculture, which has the capacity to earn huge revenue for our dear state. With the construction, equipping and use of this Nara rice processing centre by Enugu APPEALS, the agricultural revolution of the state has moved from pipeline to platform and from dream to reality,” he said.

The governor further expressed satisfaction with the impacts of APPEALS on the lives of farmers in the state, saying since its inception in 2019, the project has empowered 8,520 direct beneficiaries, with CIGs/SMEs totaling 2,948 and 1,700 agro-entreprenuers among women, youths and people with disabilities.

“Many farmers in the state in rice, cashew, poultry, aquaculture and cassava value chains have also benefited through capacity trainings, technology demonstrations and knowledge exchange visits which have exposed them to modern agricultural best practices and improved their capacity. Furthermore, Enugu State, through the APPEALS Project, has constructed 15 Aggregation/Processing Centres in cashew, rice and poultry farmers. The centres include Nara, Adani, Ngwo, Orba, Agubuowa, Amechi, Ikpa Market-Nsukka, Udi, Eha-Amufu, Oduma and Akwarri in Eha-Alumona,” the governor stressed.

Speaking earlier, the APPEALS Project Coordinator, Mrs. Ihuoma Eze, said the project had made meaningful contributions in the lives of farmers across the state even as it also directly prioritized the needs of women and youths who are into agriculture and entrepreneurship.

She stated that the Aggregation and Processing Centres had been equipped with all the required value chain machineries for optimum operation, adding that the Rice Aggregation and Processing Centres have both milling and drying capacities of 10 tons per day and 5 tons per day, respectively.

According to her, “supplied and installed equipment for Rice Centres include paddy precleaner, paddy grader, parboiling/soaking vessels, stream boiler, platform dryers, rice dehusker, rice polisher, destoner, polished rice grader, rice packaging machines, sets of elevators, 40KVA generator, bag closers among others.”

She appreciated the support from the state government which ensured that the projects were completed. “It is noteworthy to mention that the completion of all these 15 number Aggregation and Cottage Processing Centres as well as the 10 Energy Intervention sites were expedited and completed within the 100 days of His Excellency, Peter Mbah’s administration. This is a testament of His Excellency’s support to the Project.”

On his part, the Nkanu East Local Government boss and chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Hon Okechukwu Edeh, extolled the project as coming at the right time when the people of the state, especially those in Nkanu East and other agrarian areas had been suffering with post-harvest losses, saying the rice mills, cashew centres and poultry clusters across the state would encourage farmers to embark on industrialized farming and mechanized livestock production.

He appealed to the state youths to consider going into farming with the opportunity the state government had afforded them, assuring that the local government under his leadership would encourage genuine agro-production.

“Let us go into massive farming. People that will buy our products are already waiting for us in the world. I want every one of you to go into agriculture. I want to thank the governor once again for the support and promise fulfilled to our people. We are going to make maximum use of this support and we are sure that the results of this project will soon manifest,” he concluded.

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