Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, yesterday said that plans are underway to build agro-allied industries across the 17 local government areas (LGAs) of the state. Ikpeazu stated this yesterday when the Vice-Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), Prof Maduebibisi Iwe, and members of MOUAU Presidential Visitation Panel paid him a visit in Umuahia, the state capital.
The governor, who said that the industries would serve as enablers to the state government’s vision to mainstream agriculture for achievement of robust agricultural development, added that the state government was desirous to make Abia State a value-addition hub for various agricultural products in the nation. Ikpeazu noted that the government had commenced the construction of the agro-allied industries in six LGAs, which were almost completed and would serve as the pilot phase of the project. He said: “We are focusing on cassava processing, rice milling and cashew production and in a short while from now you will see agroallied industries in various local government areas.
“These industries will be built to specifically meet the production and processing of the crops that are prevalent in each local government area. “We want to see how we can create a more robust economy for the rural areas and address the issue of women and youth inclusion in the development of the economy.” According to him, Abia State could be classified as one of the smallest states, and this had made it impossible for mechanised farming to be widely practiced in the state. The governor, however, added that the construction of agro-allied industries for the promotion of its value-addition initiative would help the state to boost its agriculture sector irrespective of its small land mass.