Delta state Government is to reorganise farm settlements in the state as a step towards making Agriculture the biggest employer of labour in the state.
The state governor Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan who announced this at a meeting with residents of Mbiri Farm Settlement in Ika North-East local government area of the state promised to provide loan to farmers, access roads as well as construct hospitals in the farm settlements.
He also promised to make the farm settlements comfortable for the farmers through the provision of intercity bus services, electricity, consultancy services and highly subsidies fertilizers.
Dr Uduaghan who said that Agriculture will become an alternative to oil production in the state disclosed that the sector will be reinvigorated to become the economy main-stay of the state.
He said : “I want Direct Labour Agency and Ministry of Works to rehabilitate the road as a palliative measure until the rain season is over. Besides I also want the Ministry of Water resources to provide portable water in the farms”.
He promised to carry out feasibility study at the Mbiri farm settlement and encourage farmers to expand and become exporters of raw materials and finished products.
Explaining that Agriculture has high revenue profile the Governor appealed to settlers in the farm not to allow the legacy established by the founding fathers to die.
His words “Farming has huge financial benefits and I want to encourage you to continue to improve your method of farming especially the youths who have the potential to sustain the legacy already established”.
Dr. Uduaghan who promised to spread the youth Empowerment programme on Agriculture to all farm settlements in the state also promised to use the Mbiri farm settlement as a practical industrial training centre for students of Agriculture.
The Governor expressed happiness that most of the farmers in the settlements were trained and experienced and expressed the hope that they will pass on their expertise on Agriculture to young students who are studying agriculture in tertiary Institutions.
He however enjoined the farmers to keep their farms tidy explaining that weeds were dangerous to crops and could affect negatively the expected high yields of crops.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture Barrister Misan Kubeinje in his speech said the Mbiri farm settlement which was established in 1960 has 1000 farming families.
Hon. Kubeinje said the Ministry supplied 3,500 oil palm seedlings to the farm and trained farmers in bee farming recently.
He however appealed to the State Governor to provide a vehicle for movement in the farm as well as renovate settler’s quarters.
A spokesman for the farmers Mr. Christopher Okubor appealed to the Governor to rehabilitate the farm settlement because it was in a deplorable condition.
Mr. Okubor also appealed to the Governor to build a health centre that will cater for the health needs of people.
Emphasizing the importance of the farm settlement and the need to increase food production in the state he requested the state Governor to give farmers in the settlement loan to enable them buy enough fertilizers, seeds and seedlings.