Delta State is to pilot the Feed Africa Programme (FAP) as former President Olusegun Obasanjo launched a scheme to battle mal-nutrition and ensure food security in the African continent.
Speaking at the formal launch of FAP, yesterday in Abeokuta, Obasanjo said that Delta State will host the pilot scheme given the state’s pedigree in agricultural programme. He commended the Delta State Government for identifying with the Obasanjo Farms in developing it’s agricultural sector.
Obasanjo used the occasion to congratulate the Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan on last week’s Supreme Court judgment which upheld his election victory.
In a keynote address, the former Vice President (Africa) of the World Bank, Dr Oby Ezekwesili averred that inadequate investment on irrigation was partly affecting food production in sub Saharan Africa.
While commending the Delta State Governmet for identifying with the Feed Africa Programme, Ezekwesili challenged African leaders to get their priorities right in striving to ensure food security in the continent.
Governor Uduaghan, in his reaction, expressed delight at the choice of the state for the pilot scheme of the Feed Africa Programme.
Speaking during the launching of the programme which was part of activities marking the 75th birthday of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Governor remarked that agriculture remains a challenge to every government.
While saying that the State Government was pursuing a programme of developing other areas with proceeds from oil, the Governor noted that “most times, the success of agriculture was measured by how much fertilizer was given to farmers which he said was wrong”.
Giving insight into the agricultural Programme of his administration since 2007, Governor Uduaghan said a new generation of farmers has emerged from the Youth Empowerment through Agriculture (YETA) scheme with the establishment of cluster farms.
The Governor said infrastructure such as the Asaba Airport, roads and power were being put in place to encourage investors and went on to say that the OFN/Delta Farms Ltd., a joint initiative of the Obasanjo farms and the State Government was presently producing the highest number of poultry in the country.
He also said that as a measure, to further revamp the agricultural sector, the State Government has keyed into the United Nations Climate Change Programme. “We are concerned with the pollution of our water and the environment. We need to clean up our water and regenerate our soil”, Governor Uduaghan added.