By Elizabeth Awu Bassey
The Anambra State Government has mapped out measures aimed at cushioning post COVID-19 difficulties in the state.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanisation, Processing and Export, Mr. Nnamdi Onukwuba, made the disclosure after a brief meeting of the ministry’s Management staff.
The commissioner said the ministry had since secured the state Government’s approval to launch the 2020 farming season, through a virtual means immediately after the 14-day lockdown with the distribution of rice seedlings, cassava stems and maize, as well as water pumping machines, which will be given out to farmers at a later time.
Mr Onukwuba also announced the ministry’s plans to further sensitise farmers on the importance of hygiene at farm gates with regard to the washing of hands before entering or leaving the farms, as well as maintaining social distancing.
On the long term measures, Mr Onukwuba said the ministry had set out to evaluate where the state would have ample land to use for the installation of irrigation pumps at various points close to other developed farm lands secured for expansion of the state’s agricultural goals.
He said the state would like to develop up to 3,000 hectares to be added to the farming community of the state.
He said it would go a long way in providing enough food during the post COVID-19 era.
The commissioner said that as part of helping government’s efforts in tackling the effects of coronavirus in the state, he had personally donated 10kg bags of rice to all his age grade members in Onitsha.
He also supported this with N2, 000 each to the women in the age grade.
The commissioner also said his association, The G36, donated 260 bags of rice to four major churches in Onitsha, two of which were Catholic, and two Anglican, to help to cushion the effects of the lockdown.