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Youths urged to key into Anambra’s passion for agriculture

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CHAIRMAN, Poultry Farmers Association, Nigeria, Ugochukwu Okpalaeke,  has called on youths to take advantage of Governor Obiano’s passion in agriculture with special regards for animal husbandry.

 He made the call while interacting with journalists at his residence, Ozalla Akokwa, Umuchu.

According to Okpalaeke, “Gov. Willie Obiano is indeed supportive of agriculture as there are lots of credit facilities, inputs and incentives for farmers; beneficiaries are those who are into farming. I wish our youths can take advantage of our governor’s passion to promote agriculture in Anambra State.

I had no fewer than 300 workers across my farms before 2019 Christmas Celebration. Many of them are no longer coming to work as we enter 2020, reasons being that many of my workers have joined their relatives to go to urban places for quick money (Ego mbute).

“I will soon start recruiting new workers. The ones to be recruited are those that hunger has driven back from urban places. Yet, the ones we reinstated are trouping out again, we suffer this every year. Our youths lack patience,” he observed.

Okpalake said that“ Farming is good, though it demands patience. It builds up with time. The gains from agriculture are slow and steady. I feel worried when I see any empty expanse of land. I wish people to learn to plant economic trees in these lands- palm plantations, coconuts, breadfruits and cashew plantations. It will not only save us from land degradation but make our economy viable in few years.

“Igbo people naturally drink palm wine. We are already experiencing low production of palm wine, thereby relying on foreign made drinks like whisky, brandy, wines and lager beer to perform our traditional functions, thereby seeing ourselves drinking adulterated drinks that may be injurious to our health. I wish our youths can get back into wine tapping. I bet you, there are chances of making more money in wine tapping than in motorcycle/ tricycle operation.”

The farmer offered free training to youths that wish to study livestock farming. “I will even go further to assist them to get established after their graduation. I do this as what I plough back into society in appreciation of God, who has given me the gift and knowledge of rearing animals.

If I am in a position to suggest, I will advise government to criminalise importation of poultry produce, especially frozen chickens; we are producing animals for meat. We can produce more and I even wonder why people purchase these frozen things; they do not know how sick those chickens could have been before being prepared and taken to the cold room.

I think those that value their lives come to us when they want animals; they see it in their habitats viable. So, they are sure of purchasing healthy animals.

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