Anambra State government is planning to invest the sum of N1.5 billion to develop over 5000 hectares of land within communities in the state.

Governor Willie Obiano who disclosed this, added that N383, 385,000.00 had been set aside for facilities to small holder farmers through Anambra State Small Business Agency (ASBA) and N195, 000,000 for procuring agricultural inputs this planting season.

Obiano stated this recently at the opening of the 2018 Anambra International Trade Fair and the flag off the 2018 Dry Season Farming, in Awka, further disclosed that plans were on “to access the N3.5 billion Central Bank of Nigeria facility for Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACs) and Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS).

“We are currently developing other agricultural schemes with NIRSAL to ensure that the set targets on rice, cassava and fish value chains are achieved.”

Abiano also stated that the state has registered over a 1,000 new farmers in the first seven months of 2018, bringing the total number of farmers from 109,137 in 2017 to 110,144.

The governor also disclosed that rice production rose from 244,235 metric tons in 2016 to 345,000 metric tons in 2017 and is expected to stand at 440,000 metric tons by the end 2018, while cassava production shot up from 1,792,596 in 2016 to 1,881,589 metric tons in 2017 while maize production increased from 39,902 to 43,521 metric tons in the last planting season even as land utilization also increased in the period under review due to the influx of more people into agriculture.

Agriculture is the number one pillar in Obiano’s administration, because it has very high potentials for empowerment and employment generation, food security and poverty reduction.

On assumption of office, Obiano unfolded a master strategy to transform the agricultural sector into a leading player in national and global food markets. The State Government has made remarkable achievements in the agricultural sector.