OPINION: AGRICULTURE WILL BE A FOCAL POINT OF THE OTTI ADMINISTRATION – By. Ferdinand Ekeoma

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Agriculture is a very big business globally. Several countries in Europe make more from agricultural exports in one year than Nigeria makes from crude oil in 24 months. Sadly, farming in our clime has largely been restricted to an old people’s occupation and something “unemployed” youths can be engaged in on subsistence level while waiting for a proper job.

An Alex Otti administration in Abia state will bring agriculture to the front burner- as a viable platform for the generation of wealth and a big channel for employment creation. Focus shall be on those food and cash crops for which the state has a competitive advantage in its production and processing.

There shall be sincere and genuine efforts to revitalise the planting and processing of palm fruits considering its enormous economic potentials and industrial value. Dr Otti also has in his kitty, a very intelligent master plan designed to create an industry synergy between farmers and local and global businesses- making it possible for our farmers to sell directly to industrial end users through farmers’ corporative societies.

 

Cassava, cocoa, rubber and all other varieties of food and cash crops will receive special attention from the government by way of supply of improved seedlings and other necessary farm inputs- fertilisers, farm tools and machineries and technical training on modern farming techniques for improved productivity.

An Otti administration will not just focus on production. Local and international market channels will be opened up for those wishing to take advantage of the global demands for organically produced foods. There will be a special incentive for youths wishing to go into commercial farming- either crops or livestock- the APGA administration will encourage our youths to make the most of our vast fertile agricultural soil.

Incentives in the form of low-interest loans, training by competent personnel and support by agricultural extension workers shall be readily available for youths wishing to take advantage of the administration’s focus on agriculture.

Dr Otti so much believes in our youths that it pains him to see thousands of them whiling away on account of limited job opportunities in the state. As a way of ending the menace of unemployment in the state, Dr Otti will open up the agricultural sector to create thousands of real jobs every quarter.

As he has said again and again, Dr Otti will be partnering with regional and multi-national organisations to revive the agric sector in the state. He will also partner with agencies of the federal government for varied assistance to the state.

As governor, Dr Otti will also ensure that every agency under the state ministry of agriculture is revived and properly funded to execute their mandate. Fresh ideas would be sought and applied to the sector to create the change needed.

Under the leadership of Dr Otti, we shall stop associating Abia farmers with dirty clothes, poverty and neglect. Farmers will get finances, farm insurance, processing and storage equipment to reduce post-harvest losses and be engaged all year round.

Otti is coming with a new drive, a new energy that will see things turn around for our good and above all- a leadership mindset that is focused on development and genuine economic empowerment of Ndi Abia- the type we have not seen in the last 20 years.

To actualise the dream of a new Abia, you have a role to play- get your PVCs ready, speak to friends and family about Dr Otti and his programs and on the 2nd of March this year- go out there and vote the only man that has the wherewithal to change things for the better in our dear state. Visit www.alexotti.com to learn more.

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