In a bid to leverage potentials in agriculture and agribusiness, Chief(Dr) David Ogba Onuoha Bourdex, the Mayor of Ohafia has paid a courtesy visit to the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike on best ways to fast track agricultural development in the state. He was accompanied by his deputy, Hon. Mkpa Oju Uka, his DG and some of his SSA’s and others.
Speaking during his visit to the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) Umudike on Friday, he said “My visit to NRCRI was to discuss, ask questions, and seek assistance in the ways and means of putting my Local Government, Ohafia, on the fast track to agricultural development.
“Our discussions centered on how we can leverage the huge potentials in Agriculture and Agro-business and how the State and Ohafia LGA can attract the substantial funding available for the development of the Agro sector of our economy.”
The Mayor was accompanied by his Deputy, Hon. Mkpa Oju Uka, his DG, and SSA on political matters, Hon. Peter Ogbuji, also SSA on Agriculture and Agro-business, Engr. Kalu Iche Kalu, an Ex-World Bank staff,amongst others.
The Ohafia LGA Chieftain, was received by the Executive Director/CEO of the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) Umudike, Prof. Chiedozie Egesi FBSN, FASN, who was accompanied by Barr. Richard Mark Mbaram Esq – Focal Person, National Agricultural Growth Scheme – Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Abuja and Omoba Adewale Fosudo – Principal Consultant – West Africa Community Investment Coy. Limited.
The Executive Director, in receiving the Mayor, emphasized the need for a change of disposition towards agribusiness on the part of political leaders in the South East of Nigeria. Fresh from the Centennial Anniversary Celebration of the Institute, which featured a keynote address by World Food Prize Laureate Dr. Jan Low, the NRCRI boss indicated the Institutes plan to undertake a strategic Agricultural Entrepreneurship Development Program – focusing on the South East. In his words, “the development of agricultural production in the entire South East is particularly captured within our Statutory mandate and we intend to robustly take it up.
“We will be doing this in direct response to the dwindling level of agro-entrepreneurship in the South East, which is very unfortunate, to say the least”.
The ED indicated that the Program will extend to the other geo-political zones of the country, but that it will commence in the South East which, according to recent survey feedback, has suffered immeasurably from entrepreneurial apathy – particularly among the Youths.
In all, Mayor Onuoha expressed deep satisfaction from the visit; speaking on this, the Mayor noted that “it was well worth it and a time well spent in the company of well-informed, educated, humble, and resourceful individuals”.