By Brave Dickson
A group known as an Association of Commercial And Agro-Allied Producers of Nigeria, Rivers State Chapter has shown the Rivers State Government through its Agric ministry, some ways of creating direct employment in the state.
At a parley with the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Fred Kpakol at his state secretariat office on Monday, the agro group proposed a scheme to the state government tagged: Rivers Entrepreneurship and Growth Enhancement Programme (RAEGED).
According to the President of the group, Engr Fidelis Amadi: “This scheme will generate about 50 direct jobs per local government area (LGA), totally 1,150 jobs for the 23 LGAs of the state.”
The 3-paged proposal also expatiated on how to achieve the job creation through farmers capacity development, farmers support programme and research development.
In his response, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Fred Kpakol said: “I can assure you that the direction of the governor this time around is focused towards agriculture and we have to capitalize on that.
“You should be rest assured that we will relate with you and we are going to call you when we need your suggestions.
“We will soon convoke the farmers’ meeting. We will not run this ministry without farmer associations like you because we believe that associations are in firm control of their own people.
“We have a lot to do because agriculture was almost moribund in the state. Almost all the areas of agriculture need intervention and we can assure you that we are going to work together.”
Speaking to our correspondent shortly after the meeting, a member of the group and Professor in the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Port Harcourt, Adesope Olufemi said: “We presented a proposal on our vision for Rivers State and Nigeria.
“The allied commercial farmers came to interact with the state commissioner for agriculture today (Monday) and it was a very successful meeting.
“There are vast lands along with our high ways which belong to people, the government can partner with the owners and people will get meaningful means of survival through agriculture from there.”