In line with his resolve and promise to create employment and empower the youths of Imo north senatorial district, the senator representing Imo north in the red chambers of the National Assembly, Distinguished Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu has vowed to continue to accord agriculture a top priority so as to address unemployment, improve the economy and guarantee food security for the empowerment benefits of his constituents.
This is even as he explained that his agricultural policy was geared towards developing agricultural parks across the six local governments of the zone, which will in tune, facilitate employment opportunities in various agricultural enterprises for the teeming youths and rural dwellers.
Uwajumogu told newsmen after a tour of designated sites provided for the take-off of his proposed agricultural parks in Izunomi, Ihitte-uboma area council, Nzerem/Ikpem, Ehime mbano and Umuluwo-Owerri, Onuimo area councils, that areas of attention which would be first phase of intervention, included the immediate clearing of the over 1000 hectares of farm land, creation of access roads to the farms, soil testing and treatments, digging of mud holes for fishery, construction of new dams for irrigation farming, as well as, resuscitation of nonfunctional dams, among others.
He also promised to provide take-off loans, give out for free, improved seedlings, fingerlings, pesticides and modern farm implements that can help cultivate large expanse of lands,while also pledging to enhance the productivity of the farmers through training programs, as well as, facilitate the installation of fish drying plants, Oil mills and cassava processing plants.
The former Speaker of the Imo state House of Assembly and the only All progressive Congress (APC), senator of southeast extraction in the 8th Senate, also revealed the intention of the federal government through the ministry of agriculture to site two “40 tone capacity” rice mills to the area with the aim of enhancing production and creating a viable market for finished agricultural produce.
Uwajumogu, who enumerated some challenges facing the nation to include the less value on oil and depletion rate or incidences rocking the Nigeria oil and gas sector, stressed the need to support government at all levels and private organisations with empowerment programmes aimed at creating food sufficiency and employment opportunities through agriculture.
According to him, the ability of rural dwellers to engage in productive agricultural activities has great social and economic benefits for the economy of the zone.
On the reason behind his decision to concentrate on agriculture, he said creating a farm settlement to boost agroentre-preneurship and to help increase the employment and self-employment opportunities of rural dwellers was that fastest way to impact on the greater percentage of his constituents.
He said he is aiming to achieve an on-farm apprenticeship system where young people will receive practical, on-the-job agro business training, learn skills in areas, including agricultural tool-making, feed making, farming and gain experience in managing small-scale agricultural enterprises.