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Anambra moves to expand agro-businesses to accelerate economic growth

By Sunny A. David, Onitsha

Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has inaugurated the 2018 Anambra State Trade Fair and Dry Season Farming.
The fair, organized by the State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export at the Chuba Ikpeazu Sports Stadium, Onitsha, has its themes as “Promoting Economic Development Through Manufacturing, Trade and Agriculture,” and “Our Action Is Our Future; Zero Hunger Is Possible” respectively.
Different Agriculture stakeholders attended the event with various exhibitions stands. Inaugurating the event, Governor Obiano said that the two themes share a common concern about agriculture and hunger which clearly confirm that Agro-Business is a great avenue to achieving economic development and stability for a sustained future.
The governor stated that major performance indicators point to a positive growth in the 2018 wet planting season, with over 1000 new farmers duly registered within seven months bringing the number from 109,137 in 2017 to 110,144 farmers.

While calling on Ndi Anambra to take advantage of the agric revolution in the State and apply for loans, the Governor pointed out that rice production rose from 244,235 metric tons in 2016 to 345,000 metric tons in 2017 and stands at 445,000 metric tons by the end 2018.
While cassava production shot up from 1,792,596 in 2016 to 1,881, 589 metric tons in 2017.
Also maize production increased from 39,902 to 43,521 metric tons in the last planting season, which evidently increased land utilization due to influx of more people into the agriculture sector.
The Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Mr. Christian Madubuko said that the fair provides a platform for Ndi Anambra and investors to showcase their products and services, while the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export, Mr. Afam Mbanefo stressed that activities and efforts in the Ministry now gears towards increased promotion of agriculture as a business.
The Chairman, Anambra Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Mr. Humphrey Ngonadi, represented by Mr. Uche Apakama applauded the tax incentives of the Governor, but expressed worry about touts who according to him flout the directive, and called for total enforcement.
The Chairman Trade Fair Planning Committee, Sir Chris Ukachukwu said that the choice of Onitsha as the venue for the event is strategic, because it is the largest commercial city in the South East and West Africa.
Dignitaries that graced the event include the traditional ruler of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe and his cabinet.

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