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Agriculture Panacea To Poverty & Enterprising Venture - PHCCIMA Boss

Decries Volume of Cash Expended on Importation of Rice
By Anderson Hart
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Engr. Emeka Unachukwu, president of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA) has said agricultural engagement is not only a panacea to poverty but one that can contribute to enterprising ventures in the country.

Unachukwu made the remark in a parley with newsmen in Port Harcourt saying agricultural vocation was a roadmap to any country's self-sufficiency programme, hence it was imperative for young work force to delve into it.

''Nigerian youths must begin to see agricultural engagement as a noble profession capable of turning around their lives for good.

''The mad rush for white collar jobs should be discouraged among our graduates, it is time to educate them on the benefits of agriculture,'' Unachukwu said.

The chamber boss explained that Nigeria had all it could take to excel in agriculture, adding that what was required was only the interest.

According to him, basic necessities for any kind of farming are accessible because they are free gifts of nature. Hence he urge Nigerian youths to take advantage of the available water, land among others for mass production of crops and sea foods, which he said were profitable products.

The chamber president, who commended the Minister for Agriculture for driving innovations, said that more needed to be done to reduce food importation.

He emphasized the need to improve the quality of Nigerian rice to

check demand for foreign rice.
Unachukwu described as unfortunate, the volume of money Nigeria had invested on importation of food alone and called for aggressive agricultural engagement.

He urged the federal government to begin a reorientation programme on agriculture, aimed at creating awareness on demerits of food importation.

The chamber president, however, said that he was optimistic Nigeria would soon compete with countries like China in food exports if we put our acts together.