The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has expressed the willingness of the Ministry to partner with agricultural experts from Cambodia to improve food production in the region through cultivation and processing of special brand of rice specie that is embedded with nutrients, that can address diabetics issues among Nigerians.
A statement by the Ministry’s Director, Press and Public Relations, Patricia Deworitse on Friday said disclosed that Akpabio stated this when he met with the experts from Cambodia in Abuja.
Akpabio noted that the introduction of Integrated Agricultural Products and Services Project to the region would not only address the issue of hunger through improved food production, but it will go a long way to changing the socio-economic status of the people of the region and Nigeria as a whole.
He said he was convinced that there is much to benefit from the agricultural project for the people of the region and stressed the need for the Ministry to revisit the Agricultural Partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which can make available some funds to test run this variety of rice production in the region.
The Minister mandated the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Babayo Ardo to immediately set-up a team to go into technical session with the experts from Cambodia and come up with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), so that the ‘Pilot Scheme can commenced.
In his speech, Minister of State, MNDA, Sen. Omotayo Alasoadura assured the Niger Deltans that the Ministry intends to wheel the people from temporal projects to sustainable projects and programmes with greater emphasis on agriculture.
Alasoadura stated that the Ministry believes that agriculture is a project, if adequately exploited, the South-South region can feed Nigeria and export food products.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Mr. Peter Ojong Brown said that the organisation is into Agricultural Products and Services, noting that the production of Special Rice specie could be cultivated and harvested within 90 days.
He also disclosed that the organization is into planting of special Breed of Grass for Ranching, Construction and Fabrication of Ranches for prescribed number of cows within the State, adding that the company also converts cow dung into biogas for power generation.
Brown added that “we have specialist that handle and train farmers on how to manage Technology Transfer Scheme”, noting that the organization is already in Cross River State to initiate the ‘Pilot Farm Scheme’.