BY VICTORIA ODIA
DLTA State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, has launched the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) for cassava famers in the state.
GESS is an Agricultural Transformation Programme (APP) of the Federal Government.
The ceremony, which took place at Oleh in Isoko South Local Government Area of the state, saw the distribution of 15 bundles of high-yielding cassava varieties, fertilizer and agrolyzer to farmers.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Amos Utuama, said GESS was designed by the federal government to give additional impetus to the cultivation of cassava in the state in particular and the country in general.
This is in view of the fact that cassava is a staple food for Nigerians in addition to its soaring tempo in export production, he stated.
Uduaghan said cassava production in the state would thrive better because “Delta is well known for massive production of this vital agricultural item owing to its good weather for agricultural produce.”
His words: “Cassava has become an export product and with this in mind, assistance has to be increased to ensure that farmers in the state outstrip the target set for them in this programme.
“No doubt, any additional incentive from the Federal Government will boost our efforts to increase food and agricultural production generally,” he said.
Earlier in his address, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said the launch was necessary because cassava was one of the five commodities of economic advantage to the state in the current agricultural transformation agenda.
The minister, who was represented by the Director of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in the state, Mr. Felix Kehis, listed the cassava value chain products to include high quality cassava flour, cassava chips, starch, ethanol, garri, fufu, abacha, tapioca, and so on.
BY VICTORIA ODIA