Traditional Rulers under the auspices of Royal Fathers in Agriculture (ROFINA) have flagged off the harvest of cassava in Imo State, South-East, Nigeria, to buoy up government’s campaign on agriculture.
The President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ROFINA, His Royal Majesty, Eze Chidume Okoro, said the initiative was formulated out of the need for traditional rulers to support the government’s agricultural revolution.
“We decided as traditional rulers that we must support the government to produce more food to feed our people, to change the notion that agriculture is for the poor and for the aged by introducing technology into agriculture and making it agribusiness rather than agriculture,” he said.
His Majesty also noted that ROFINA has impacted in the practical training of Students in agriculture at the Imo State Polytechnic, stating that Students were given stipends by the Royal Fathers to plant, nurture and maintain 30 hectares of farmland.
He further emphasized that ROFINA is set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Imo State Ministry of Education to develop hundred hectares of farmland in about fifty secondary schools in the state.
His Majesty said: “We are at an advanced stage of signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Imo State Ministry of Education to develop 100 hectares of farmland in about 50 Schools in the State, each School 2 hectares so that Students can have practical training of how to manage farmlands.”
He however, advised that government needs to tackle the challenges in the agricultural sector, while urging the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to resuscitate the landing clearing agency in the country.
On the other hand, the National Project Coordinator of the West Africa Agriculture Productivity Programme (WAAPP), Dr. James Apochi says the Organization is set to support, train and enlighten Royal Fathers, others on the importance of Agriculture.
Dr. Apochi noted that if the traditional rulers are equipped with basic agricultural knowledge then they can transfer the knowledge to the people and language would not be a barrier.