The Deputy Governor Sir Ude Oko Chukwu has reaffirmed the determination of the Dr Okezie lkpeazu’s led Govt to reclaim the State’s leading position as major Cocoa producing State.
Sir Oko Chukwu who stated this while flagging off the 2021 Improved Cocoa Seedlings for distribution to Abia Farmers in the State held at the Michael Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia noted that Cocoa farming and production as contained in the Agricultural policy of the present administration will not only boost the resources of the State, but create employment to the teeming youths by taking them off the street.
The Deputy Governor urged Cocoa Farmers to ensure that they utilize the opportunity of getting the improved Cocoa Seedlings from Govt to increase their yeild by expanding their farms and replacing old and weak Cocoa stands with the improved Seedlings which has shorter time of fruiting and ensure bumper harvests.
Sir Oko Chukwu who is also the Chairman of State Cocoa Transformation Committee also assured Farmers that Govt will also provide them with pesticides, fertilizers and other farm inputs that will make Farmers farm with ease and have improved income.
In his speech, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Deputy Governor, Sir Don Ubani expressed delight that the Governor, Dr Okezie lkpeazu has added impetus to his cardinal policy on agriculture by providing farmers with improved Cocoa Seedlings which will go a long way in repositioning Abia as a leading Cocoa producing State and urged Farmers to remain committed increasing their production outputs.
In his welcome address, the State Cocoa Desk Officer, Dr Ojo Uma Ojo lauded the magnanimity of the Governor in approving the raising of the improved Cocoa Seedlings, training and empowering Farmers to change the narrative of Cocoa production and agriculture in the State and charged Cocoa Farmers to always use the new hybrid Cocoa Seedlings for planting.
Responding on behalf of the Farmers, Dr Joseph Onukwe said they are happy with the support and encouragement given to them through the distribution of the improved Seedlings and promised to take advantage of the gesture from the State Govt to improve on their Cocoa production in the State.
The ceremony which featured the distribution of the new improved hybrid Cocoa Seedlings to Cocoa Farmers in the State by the Deputy Governor attracted the presence of the State Head of Service, Sir Onyi Wamah, Body of Permanent Secretaries, top Govt Officials and stakeholders in the Cocoa and Agric sector.