23rd Edition of Anambra Scorecard: The Hot Questions and Cool Answerswith Engr Mike Ogbuekwe, SSA to Gov Obiano on Agriculture

By Ifeanyi Aniagoh

The 23th Edition of Anambra Scorecard on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 discussed “Agricultural Revolution in Anambra State” with Engr. Mike Ogbuekwe, the Senior Special Assistant to Gov Willie Obiano on Agriculture.

Since Chief Willie Obiano took over the mantle of leadership as the governor of Anambra State, many laudable achievements have been recorded in the State’s Agricultural sector with over $600 million agro-investment attracted within the last 2 years.

The unprecedented revolution spread across rice farms, cassava and tomato production, fish farming, modern abattoir, poultry, meat processing and many other sections of the Agricultural value chain, yields numerous benefits towards the development of Anambra State while creating in-exhaustive job opportunities.

Reproduced below are the hot questions and cool answers from the 2 hours interaction:

Please sir, I am interested in Fish farming, I would like to know if the Government has a mechanism for supporting individual farmers? For instance training programs, access to Loans or fishery Equipment?

Thanks for your interest in fish farming. Yes, the Anambra State Government has support in form of training. The training is done in batches. Last one was done at the State College of Agriculture, Mgbakwu. Also, there is the Anambra Small Business Agency, set up to help disburse support (loans) to small businesses and farmers.

Good Afternoon sir, could you enlighten us on the Governor’s Agricultural reforms so far, what he intends to achieve, how he is doing it, how far he has gone, our benefits as Ndi Anambra in terms of Job and food security?

Agriculture reform is a 2 pronged approach, reform for the large scale Agriculture and reform for the small holder farmers. For the large scale, government has made land available and good environment for investors to invest in large scale commercial Agriculture e.g Coscharis farms, Delfarms, etc.

For small scale farmers, government has provided training, good extension services and access to improved seeds. Access to tractors through a joint partnership with E-force. Also government bought all the rice distributed to civil servants from Anambra farmers during last year Christmas.

Sir, how has the government sustained this level of development in Agriculture in the state with regards to the economic situation facing the country?

Thank you, the government has been very prudent with resources and very strategic with her policies. It’s being a mixture of public spending and working closely with investors. Note that most of the investors are Ndi Anambra and it is only our people that can develop our state.

Sir, I would like to know if there would be no conflict of interest between the large scale farmers and the small scale farmers. E.g. if Coscharis and other large scale farmers produce and sell rice, would a small scale rice farmer survive? How do you intend making both parties earn satisfying share of the market?

There is no conflict, in fact they complement each other. For instance, Coscharis needs even more rice that it can produce on its farms. So, they will give seeds to the farmers as out-growers to plant for them and at harvest Coscharis buys it off. The farmer is happy and Coscharis is happy and that’s a very fruitful partnership.

Are there financial subventions for young persons who want to go into poultry farming (layers and broilers). How much can one access?

There are no 'financial subventions’; however, we have an investor. Lynden farms who is building a massive poultry facility, when they are done, they will give out day old chicks to our youths to raise, same out-grower scheme I just talked about earlier. Lynden farms is in partnership with the government.

Anambra Scorecard is the only online live programme which provides opportunity for the led to directly engage their leaders through the Facebook platform from anywhere in the world.

It is a weekly programme anchored on Anambra Square, the e-Village Square of Ndi Anambra on Facebook with Ifeanyi Aniagoh as the host.

Senior Special Assistant to Gov Willie Obiano on Social Media

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Willie Is Working... The People are Happy... I'm Proudly Onye Anambra!