Chief Theodore Orji says his Government has mapped out programmes targeted at developing the agricultural sector of the state.
Governor Orji made the disclosure when he received at the Government house, Umuahia the international Fund for Agriculture (IFAD) Country Programme Manager, Atsuko Toda and her team who paid him a courtesy visit.
He stated that apart from setting up liberation farms in parts of the State to employ Abia youths, the State has ventured into cocoa, cashew, and oil palm plantations.
He said that agriculture has become a big business and a great employer of labour, with a lot of potentials.
According to him, Abia State is partnering with the federal government to establish a cassava processing plant at Abiriba in Ohafia LGA soon and has also entered into partnership with Honeywell LTD to boost the State’s agricultural sector.
The governor stated the readiness of the State to partner with IFAD to ensure success of the programme in the State.
Earlier, the IFAD country programme Manager, Atsuko Toda disclosed that her agency is looking at designing a new programme that will focus on key value chains in promoting youths in agriculture, adding that IFAD hopes to support the State in her liberation farms.
She pleaded with the state government to release the counterpart funding to the programme to enable it benefit from the new programme and to continue benefitting from the agency.
The commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Kenneth Nwosu while throwing more light on the programme pointed out that the team is targeting rural rural farmers and revealed that Abia and Imo states are the only Igbo states selected in the new programme.
He said that there is need to replace the aging farmers and disclosed that the state has keyed into dry season farming to boost food production in the State.