Japan has indicated interest in partnering Anambra farmers in cultivation, processing and exportation of ugu, onugbu and other vegetables with Nimo, Abatete, Oraukwu, Nawfija and Ogbunka communities lined up as pilot centres under Phase I.
The collaboration was attracted by the state government under the auspices of Small Holder Horticultural Empowerment and Promotion (SHEP) while Japanese participation to be sponsored by Japan International Agency (JICA).
Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Foster Ihejiofor, disclosed this yesterday while declaring open a three-day training for extension agents selected from the four agricultural zones of the state.
Describing the partnership as an indication of Japan’s endorsement of Gov. Chukwuma Soludo’s agricultural development policies, Ihejiofor also explained the collaboration as timely in calibrating Anambra’s economy through food sufficiency.
Explaining that the programme will focus on domestication of production and processing of vegetables, as well as distribution to ready markets in Nigeria and abroad by Anambra farmers, the commissioner urged the extension agents to see themselves as primary drivers of regenerative agriculture practice in line with the state government’s new farming templates.
Also speaking, Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) Manager, Jude Nwankwo promised that in the second phase of the partnership, the state government will double the number of benefitting communities, using Government Cash Counterpart Contribution (GCCC) funding.