Bayelsa State Government says it will assist subsistence farmers in the state with improved techniques and inputs to boost production and achieve food security.
Mr David Alagoa, Commissioner for Agriculture, stated on Saturday, July 3, 2021 in Yenagoa, the state capital, while fielding questions from members of Federated Correspondent’s Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists currently on inspection tour of projects in the state.
Alagoa explained that the move was to empower small scale farmers considering the fact that they produced 80 per cent of the food being consumed in the state.
He said that government would encourage farmers in the state to approach food production as a business in order to boost productivity.
Alagoa said: “I tell you, 80 per cent of the food that we eat comes from subsistence farmers. It is those farmers in the village that feed us, so we have to empower them. That is one angle that we are looking at.
“We have put in place a policy to boost the productivity of subsistence farmers because if they perform so wonderfully without government’s assistance, you can imagine what they can do if they are encouraged.
“Specifically, we are going to assist them through extension services, improved farming methods, high yield seedlings and access to good markets for their produce.”
He explained that the farmers would be reached through their various constituencies to ensure that no one was left out.
”We are going to have 24 offices at the state constituency levels so that everybody can have access to the one nearest to their constituencies rather than their local government areas.
“If we use the constituency approach to farming, we will reach and have impact on more people,” the commissioner said.
By Nathan Nwakamma