Anambra imports 2 million oil palm, coconut seedlings from Malaysia

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Governor Charles Soludo says his government has begun importing one million palm oil seedlings and one million coconuts from Malaysia, hoping to make N160 billion annual revenue for Anambra.

Deputy Governor Onyekachi Ibezim disclosed this while inaugurating the 2023 farming season at Alex Ekwueme Square Awka.

Mr Ibezim, who represented the Anambra governor at the event, said, “We started importation of one million palm oil seedlings and one million coconuts from Malaysia last year. These species have three years maturity period.”

He added, “When this investment fully matures, the off-takers will be processing the fruits of these plants, and over N160 billion will be yearly income from this window.”

The Anambra deputy governor also revealed the state government’s plan to irrigate 10,000 hectares of land for rice farming at Ifite Ogwari community in Ayamelum LGA for rice cultivation, stressing that agriculture can create wealth and employment opportunities for thousands of people.

Mr Ibezim said that based on the abundant opportunities in the sector, the government listed agriculture among the priority areas of investment in the 50-years development plan of Anambra.

He called on farmers to commit to the sector as the government will always support them in their activities.

Foster Ihejiofor, the agric commissioner, said the state’s focus is on “biological farming,” not on producing food.

“It is about preserving our environment and ensuring the sustainability of our food system. Biological farming, aka zero budget, carbon farming or regen-Ag, launched in 2022 by Governor Chukwuma Soludo, is a sustainable agricultural system,” Mr Ihejiofor explained.

The commissioner urged farmers to embrace the new farming system, saying, “Biological farming is not just environmentally friendly, it is also economically beneficial to farmers as it reduces the cost of inputs while improving soil’s health, plants’ health, nutrients, among others.”

(NAN)