By Babajide Okeowo
The Federal Government has rolled out plans to strengthen Nigeria’s agricultural sector so as to ensure food security in 2022.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Abubakar, disclosed this on Thursday at the launch of a Rural Rubber Resources Centre at Ndioko Izombe and a 1,000 capacity poultry at Umuelem and Umuokoro Umuihi in the Oguta and Ihitte Uboma council areas of Imo respectively.
Abubakar said that plans were on ground for enhanced provision of agricultural incentives and maintenance of existing agricultural institutions across the six geo-political zones of the country.
He added that the measure became inevitable to add impetus for the realization of food security and intercontinental food production.
Abubakar, represented by a Director in the Imo Ministry of Agriculture, also said that Government had resolved to empower women and youths through poultry farming to promote economic self reliance.
He identified rubber as an essential raw material used in the manufacture of more than 40,000 products, including medical devices, surgical gloves, aircraft and car tyres as well as pacifiers, clothes and toys.
He also noted that Poultry farming contributes about 90% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, thereby increasing domestic income, adding that according to a recent survey, 1.6 million jobs emanated from poultry farming in the United States.
“The natural rubber produced from plants is classified as a polymer which is a chemical compound with large molecules made of many smaller molecules of the same kind.
“Poultry farming on the other hand is feeding nations and we must therefore safeguard government property in the various communities,” he said.
Speaking, Chairman of Izombe Rubber farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society, Chief Donatus Emedoro, expressed gratitude to the minister for the establishment of the centre in the state and four others out of the 18 rubber producing states in the country.
He, however, called on the government to sink a borehole, train personnel to effectively man the machines and fence the site for optimal production of rubber sheets.