The Bayelsa State governor has flagged off dry season farming, with a call on indigenes to invest in farming to boost food production and diversify the economy instead of relying on oil.
While flagging off the dry season farming at Otuasega community in Ogbia Local Government Area as part of activities marking his second anniversary in office, Governor Douye Diri said his administration had prioritised agricultural development to ensure food security.
Diri, who was joined by his Akwa Ibom State counterpart, Udom Emmanuel during the flag-off of the season, said his government was focusing on rice, cassava, banana, yam, maize, plantain and fisheries, as well as exploring the processing and marketing the entire value chain.
He also stated that the state government had signed a memorandum of understanding with a consortium of companies under the African Atlantic Gulf of Guinea Fisheries Limited.
He said the deal, when operational, would generate 4,000 jobs, train 2,500 youths in fish farming and establish a boat building yard, as well as fish processing plant of over 20,000 metric tonnes capacity.
He disclosed that the cassava processing factory at Ebedebiri in Sagbama Local Government Area would also become functional in about three months.
He disclosed that in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria, the state government had installed rice mills at the state-owned Niger Delta University, Amassoma and the Federal University, Otuoke, as well as provided seedlings to 2,500 farmers in all the eight local government areas.
He said, “Agriculture is one of the pillars of my administration to diversify and remove our people’s focus from oil and gas and encourage them in food production”.
Bayelsa Flags Off Dry Season Farming