Anambra state government said it would provide aids for farmers in the state willing to venture into full scale cattle breeding with emphasis on breeding Igbo specie cow popularly known as Efi Igbo.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanisation Processing and Export, Nnamdi Onukwuba made the disclosure weekend while visiting Eagle Food Processing Industries in Umuchu, Aguata local government area of the State.
He said the Obiano-led administration was ready to make livestock grazing a serious business, most especially the rearing of the Igbo cow.
He added that government was already making plans to expand cattle grazing across the local government areas in the State.
Taking a holistic view of the processing Industries, Onukwuba praised its founder and Managing Director, Prince Ugochukwu Okpalaeke for his efforts in achieving the feat in
food processing which he referred to as the most important area of agriculture.
“I’m marvelled to see a farmer with hundreds of thousands of birds, a palm produce processing factory with cattle and other things in his farm coupled with hundreds of workers as employees in his payroll,” he stated.
Responding, Okpalaeke who is also Chairman, Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) regretted the acquisition of lands in the South East region by the rich for business as against “the pressing needs of agricultural development.”
He called on governors of the zone to provide farmers with aids capable of motivating them into the business of cattle breeding, particularly the Igbo specie of cattle.
He said, “Farmers have the intention and capable to breed cattle but they are nowhere near what it takes to do the business in terms of facilities like land, man power and funding.
“Rich men in virtually every place in Igbo land are acquiring lands for other businesses against the interest of all important agricultural development at this point in time.”
Acknowledging the bright chances of succeeding in cattle breeding in the Southeast in view of availability of grass and water, the Umuchu born-multipurpose farmer with National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) Award stressed the need for South East states and local governments to encourage farmers to key into the business.