Gideon Arinze in Enugu
Enugu state governor, Peter Mbah, has inaugurated 15 World Bank assisted Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project in Enugu to enhance food production in the state.
The APPEALS Project is a six-year project developed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in collaboration with the World Bank and other stakeholders to assist rural farmers.
The project inaugurated, include 15 number Aggregation and Cottage Processing Centres in cashew, rice and poultry spread across the three senatorial zones of the state as well as 10 energy installations.
Speaking during the event which took place at Nara Rice Processing Centre in Nkanu East Council Area, Mbah said that the state achieved the feat due to his administration’s commitment to boost food production and turn the state to a net exporter of agricultural products within the next four years.
Mbah, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Chidiebere Onyia, said that his administration anchors the sustainability of the state’ economy on agriculture, which has the capacity to earn huge revenue for our dear state.
“With the construction, equipping and use of this Nara rice processing centre by Enugu APPEALS, the agricultural revolution of the state has moved from pipeline to platform and from dream to reality,” he said.
In a welcome address, the APPEALS Project Coordinator, Enugu State, Ihuoma Eze, said that the Rice Aggregation and Processing Centres have both milling and drying capacities of 10 tons per day and five tons per day, respectively.
She noted that since its inception in 2019, the project had empowered 8,520 direct beneficiaries, with CIGs/SMEs totalling 2,948 and 1,700 agro-entrepreneurs among women, youths and people with disabilities.