By Charles Eke
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has restated his government commitment towards achieving goal two of the Sustainable Development Goal ( SDG) which places emphasis on eradication of poverty and reducing hunger by 2030.
Dr Ikpeazu regretted that many people all over the world exist without knowing where the next meal would come from, not having enough money to eat a decent meal, eating only one poor meal a day and non nutritious meal, eating nutritious meal on rare occasions which he described as face of hunger.
Speaking during the World Food Day Celebration held in Umuahia, Dr Ikpeazu said that on inception, his government embarked not only on eliminating hunger and poverty but also developing an economy not based on heavy dependence oil revenue but on agricultural production.
Represented by his deputy governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, he said that apart from rehabilitating and revitalizing moribund farm estates, they have embarked on oil palm revolution through production of 7.5 million tenera oil palm seedlings expected to replace wild palm groves as well as setting up of poultry cluster projects in the three senatorial zones.
The governor said that these projects/ programmes have not only created employment and revenue to the state and farmers but increase output in food production.
Dr. Ikpeazu assured that his administration would continue to provide counterpart fund for the development partners – sponsored agricultural programmes including FADAMA 111, additional financing, National Programme for Food Security among others.
He thanked the wife of the governor for sustaining the Home Grown School Feeding Programme Initiative and promise to extend the programme to secondary schools in the state.
In her address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs Uzoamaka Uche lkonne said in their bid to achieve Zero hunger through increased food production, they have strengthened farm inputs distribution system through decentralization which has enabled farmers access fertilizers and other farm inputs at the various zonal levels.
Mrs lkonne thanked the governor, Dr Okezie lkpeazu for approving the employment of 100 extension workers which have so far impacted on the farmers positively through the adoption of more productive modern system of farming.
In his remarks, the Chairman on the occasion, Chief Uzo Azubuike represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Solid Minerals Development, Prince Dan Okoli commended the Abia state govt for working assiduously to ensure that the state achieve zero hunger by 2030 and commended the involvement as well the commitment of the present administration towards Abia farmers to ensure food security and agricultural advancement.
Also speaking, the General Manager Abia Golden Chicken, Ogwe, Deacon Chibuike Ezeugo said eradication of hunger and achieving zero hunger would be if Abians and Nigerians as a whole embrace farming and thanked governor lkpeazu for his support to the Abia Golden Chicken which he said can meet the poultry needs of the state and beyond.
Speaking on the event Commissioner for Boundary Matters and Conflict Resolution, Chief Mascot lmo Obike stated the imperative of food security and ensuring that no citizen goes to bed on an empty stomach.
Chief Imo Obike called on all the stakeholders to work assiduously to achieve the zero hunger action plan and commended the governor for his commitment to actualise the policy as well what the governor has been doing to enhance socioeconomic status of the citizens.
The ceremony featured inspection of agricultural products and exhibition stands and presentation of prizes to best farmers in the state.