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The Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has boycotted eating of foreign rice.
In the last six months, Governor Ikpeazu has taken foreign rice out from his menu and said the reason is to demonstrate that Nigeria, with her rich agricultural potentials, has the capacity for self-sufficiency in food production. “We cannot be blessed with the kind of arable land we have in the north and the fertile rainforest in the south and still be dependent as a country on foreign food,” he declared.
Ikpeazu said as a way to tackle the prevailing economic glut occasioned by the global oil slide, Nigeria must develop a new policy that will discourage importation of foreign foods and encourage the cultivation and eating of local foods, stressing that this is time for us to value the richness of our local menu.
The governor urged the Federal Government to look for alternative measures of survival in agriculture and emphasized that Nigeria has varieties of food, including sea food that could be sufficient for the people.
Ikpeazu who is said to be leading an agricultural revolution in Abia State and has mandated all members of his EXCO and principal officers to own a farm this year, said Abia must return to land as a way of recovering its original status as the food haven of Nigeria.
While noting that Abia used to be the sixth producer of cocoa, number one producer of cassava, rubber and palm oil, he said his administration will orchestrate a massive proliferation of cassava, cocoa and oil palm and will deploy the latest specie of oil seedling called tenera which was bred by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
The Governor also hinted that he plans to establish a poultry village in Abia in collaboration with the Obasanjo Farms in Ota, Ogun State, where youths will be trained in the modern techniques of poultry farming, adding that his vision is to make Abia the poultry capital of the South East and South South of Nigeria.
He called on Mr. President to lead a promotion of Nigerian local menu and canvassed for an attitudinal change of Nigerians towards our home-grown foods as a way of growing the economy.
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