Otti’s Agrobusiness Revolution and Food Sufficiency in Abia


Otti’s Agrobusiness Revolution and Food Sufficiency in Abia

Ebere Uzoukwa, Ph.D

The Government of Abia State under Gov. Alex Chioma Otti OFR, on 4th June, despatched a contingent of 300 Abians to CSS Global Farms, Nasarawa State, for a two-week rigorous and intensive training on agriculture.

This followed an earlier capacity building seminar organised to prepare the participants before they left for Nasarawa State.

The Imo-born founder of CSS Global Integrated Farms, John-Kennedy Opara, who spoke on ”Agricultural Development and Food Security: The path to human capital resources development”, during the capacity building seminar, had acknowledged the commitment of Gov. Otti, who is laying a solid and sustainable foundation critical to achieving revolutionary agricultural practice to ensure food sufficiency in Abia.

Speaking at the seminar through his Chief of Staff, Pastor Caleb Ajagba, the governor disclosed that the State Government paid for every expenditure, including feeding, transportation, accommodation and other logistics to guarantee the ambience of learning and acquisition of the knowledge of mechanised farming.

“The government has paid for each of the 300 beneficiaries going to CSS Farms and you would be exposed to all forms of mechanised farming and the entire value chain of agriculture.

“You are going to learn, not on a jamboree, not on a sight-seeing and not just to make up the number of those who are going there,” Pastor Ajagba charged the participants on behalf of Gov. Otti.

On the completion of the two-week intensive training, the governor, amid his tight schedule, graced the graduation ceremony, where he affirmed the commitment of his administration to prepare and empower the participants to demonstrate their knowledge in mechanised farming and all-round agricultural practice.

Beyond training other Abians, the governor through this strategic approach appears to be consciously rail-roading many Abians back to farming through government support and incentives.

While the government adopts a mechanised farming approach to boost food security, the same approach adopted by the Mayors of the 17 Local Government Areas, the governor is showing his determination to raise individual farmers, who shall make fortune through agrobusiness and the entire value chain in agricultural practice.

The derivables and anticipated impact of this exceptional thinking and revolution are obviously unimaginable.

Beyond tackling the challenges of food unavailability and unaffordability, the approach would also translate to economic prosperity for Abia farmers and enhanced revenue to the state from the agricultural sector.

It is also public knowledge that Gov. Otti has been engaging potential foreign investors to partner with the government in exploring other agricultural opportunities in the state. The arrangement, according to government sources, are being incubated and tidied up for agricultural boom and expansion as promised by the governor.

While commending the governor for funding the two-week training of the 300 Abians at Nasarawa CSS Integrated Farm, it is right to remind the beneficiaries about the need of not allowing the huge money spent on them to be a waste. They should see the gesture as part of government’s investment towards achieving food availability and sufficiency in the state.

They should also as a matter of fact remember that it is beholding on them to train and guide other interested Abians into adapting to modern agricultural practice.

The knowledge acquired in Nasarawa should never die with them, hence the need to bequeath the same to other willing Abians. This is one of the surest ways of supporting the governor toward achieving food sufficiency in God’s Own State.

Abia is indeed getting better under Gov. Alex Chioma Otti OFR.

Dr. Ebere Uzoukwa, a media consultant and policy analyst, writes from Obingwa.