The Anambra State Government has announced plans to establish agro-farm markets in major cities across the state to encourage farmers to sell their produce and boost agriculture in the state.
Mr. Afam Mbanefo, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanisation, Processing and Export, made the disclosure while opening a Commodity Agricultural Forum (CAF) in Awka on Monday.
The forum consists of agricultural stakeholders under the International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD) Assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) in the state.
Mbanefo said the ministry was also working closely with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to ensure that only certified and wholesome products were sold to consumers.
“We have designed the structure and how it will work; we are creating platforms for farmers to key into businesses from their produce,” he said.
Mbanefo also said the government planned to increase inputs disbursement to farmers in the state for the 2019 farming season, particularly farmers affected by the 2018 flood.
“This year, we brought in lots of tractors and we are targeting rice, maize and cassava.
“We have already profiled over 3,000 farmers, who will benefit more agro inputs in the coming weeks,” he said.
The State Programme Coordinator of VCDP, Mr. Nnamdi Agwuncha, said the forum was organised to enable stakeholders, including farmers, agro dealers, processors and marketers to share knowledge, showcase achievements and solve challenges.
“Farmers in the state are not only making money but are also solving problems of food, unemployment, increased income and reducing poverty,” Agwuncha said.
Also, Mrs Ngozi Ebue of Divine Destiny Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Anaku Community and Mrs Philomen Ekemezie of Amarachukwu Special Purpose Cooperative Society, Umueri community, lauded VCDP for their support.
The beneficiaries, who shared testimonies of how their lives have been transformed through VCDP’s support, displayed produce, including rice flour, rice seeds, milled rice and cassava chin chin among others. (NAN)