The Adani-Omor Rice Production zone has reached an advanced stage.
The Federal Government says it has embarked on development of master plan for Staple Crops Processing Zones (SCPZs) in the country.
Uche Nwafor, the South-East Regional Director of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, announced this at a stakeholders’ workshop in Awka on Monday.
The workshop on the master plan was organised by the Federal and Anambra Governments in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).
Mr. Nwafor said the Adani-Omor Rice Production zone had reached advanced stage and the consultants from UNIDO had been on field tour of the area.
“The stakeholders have gathered here to advance the business of agriculture in line with the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government.
“Experts have been chosen from different parts of the value chain to develop master plan for the building of agric-business in industrial zone for Enugu-Anambra rice belt,’’ he said.
The leader of the UNIDO team of consultants, Emelike Okoro, said the model produced would strengthen the economy when implemented.
Mr. Okoro said the model was fully home-grown and used local man power with little or no exported employment.
“We are Nigerians and aware of our peculiarities, our model will make use of local manpower.
“We, therefore, enjoin Nigerians to patronise our rice because they are cheaper and richer,’’ he said.
The Commissioner for Agriculture in Anambra, Ndubuisi Menakaya, thanked the Federal Government, and expressed the hope that the project would transform the living standards of the people.
Represented by Albert Dimaka, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Menakaya pointed out that the progress made so far showed that the ATA was on course.
“We need to change our orientation toward agriculture; we have to see it as a profitable venture, a business and something one can engage in and be satisfied.
“Addressing these issues informed the designation of some areas like Adani-Omor as SCPZs as it will help to improve the production of rice potential in the area,’’ he said.
In his remarks, the state Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Nnamdi Meko, commended the initiative, saying, “It has been the yearnings of farmers in the state.
He urged the government to carry farmers along in the planning stage of its policies.