By Christian Ogbonna
Abakaliki, Oct. 7, 2020 The Ebonyi Government has warned “portfolio” farmers in the state against sabotaging its determined efforts to ensure food security.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Moses Numeh, gave the warning on Wednesday in Abakiliki during a one-day stakeholders’ workshop on Integrated Farming Project.
Numeh said the programme, which focused on establishing innovation platform for fish and rice farmers, was designed to educate farmers in Ebonyi on diversification strategy for farming.
“The participants in the programme are selected from the 13 local government areas of the state.
“Yes, some people are interested on what will enter into their pocket and not what will enter the land for planting and those are whom we call `portfolio’ farmers.
“The era of money sharing is no longer in existence.
“I want to tell people that there are bigger and better money in agriculture than looking for where money is shared.
“It is obvious that there are portfolio farmers in the state that is why when loans are given out, we will not get result,” the commissioner said.
Prof. Kolawole Ajani, a Principal Investigator on Fish and Rice Integrated Farm, University of Ibadan, hailed Nigeria’s ranking in rice production in Africa.
Ajani, the Convener of the project in Ebonyi, said that integrating rice with fish farming would go a long way in reducing fish importation in the country.
“Nigeria is improving to a stage where we can export rice to the outside world, but we must be focused to get it right.
“In fact, we are doing it right but there is need to learn from the leading producers and countries in the world.
“The objective of the integrated farming project is to establish innovation platform for integration, engage stakeholders and adequately sensitise them on the way forward,” Ajani said.