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AROUND ANAMBRA

There are improvements, but… — Okpaleke

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  • Prince Ugochukwu Okpaleke is the MD/CEO of Eagles Food Processing Industry Nig. Ltd.

He stated that before and some years after the state was created, it was very difficult for the few farmers who engaged in commercial agriculture,  and also difficult for their subsistent counterparts to get government’s attention and support, or even bring out the little they had produced for buyers to patronise them.

This, he said, discouraged a lot of people from going beyond the subsistent level of farming for their family’s consumption, adding that using primitive farm tools which still pose big challenge  at the moment also makes farm work appear more like a very difficult work.

Prince Okpaleke, who is the only well known breeder of Igbo Cow in the state said he had been into agriculture for over 40 years, hence, can bear witness that some of these problems have been surmounted, given that the sector has obviously improved, as can be confirmed from  recent influx of investors and people into the sector in the state, exportation of agricultural products from the state to overseas, and other such indices.  He credited series of these improvement  to past governments and administrations that have managed the state, while attributing greater percentage of it to the agricultural blueprint of the incumbent administration of Chief Dr. Willie Obiano, who he said, has made our people to start eating rice produced in the state, and in addition, transformed the sector than any other government.

He however said that some things still needed to be done to lift  this sector in all ramifications, as some parts of it are still facing some more challenges today, ranging from road network (for farmers in the hinterland) to electricity (for those who are also into processing like himself), as well as negligence of ndi Anambra to rearing of some animals, especially Igbo cows (Ehi Igbo), rams and some other animals, crops and fruits, which he said, can be grown in Anambra, but are (till today) still being imported into the state from other parts of the country and overseas.

Sharing his views on how he wants the sector to be in the nearest future, Prince Okpaleke disclosed that he wants Anambra to be a first and best destination point for sourcing and buying of different kinds of animals, especially Igbo cows and all other crops or agricultural products that can be grown in the state, suggesting that this can be achievable if the government of the state maintains  strong concerns for the sector, draws ndi Anambra’ and investors’ attention and interest to those aspects of the sector where the state is not yet doing well, while ensuring the implementation of plans being hatched to have places where Igbo cows are reared in all the 21 local government areas of the state.

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