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Sunday, 13 January 2013

BAYELSA PLANS SELF-SUFFICIENCY IN FOOD PRODUCTION


Bayelsa State Government has inaugurated a 16-man Agricultural Development Blue Print Committee with a charge to formulate policies that will guide government to invest in the agricultural sub-sector.

While inaugurating the committee in Government House, Yenagoa, Governor Seriake Dickson said the state has a lot of agricultural potentials that could be harnessed to make the state self-sufficient in food production.

Hon. Dickson said his administration will invest in areas in which the state has comparative advantage such as fisheries, oil palm cultivation and rice production with a view to exporting to other countries.

Pointing out the volatility associated with oil price, Governor Dickson noted that efforts are underway to diversify the local economy and reduce dependence on oil.

According to the Governor, the committee is expected to identify the agricultural and agro-business potentials of the state; highlight previous efforts at agricultural development as well as identify factors militating against sustainable agricultural growth, investment and development in the state.

The committee is also mandated to identify the major agricultural produce in which the state has comparative advantage; recommend realistic and time-bound policies and programmes aimed at harnessing the agricultural and agro-business potentials and also identify ways by which the state can partner with other stakeholders and agebcies outside the state.

In addition, the committee is to make recommendations which could make the agricultural sub-sector of the state a major source of employment, skills acquisition and income generation poverty alleviation.

In his response, chairman of the committee, Mr. Izonebi Obubo said the state has the right agro-ecology, pointing out that what was left was the appropriate investment in the sector and the political will to execute the recommendations of the committee.
He assured the Governor that with the calibre of the members at his disposal, the committee will not only produce a robust and critical blue print but will also deliver on its assignment on record time.

The committee, which is expected to turn in an interim report by the end of the first week, has Mr. Tomo Ozu as the secretary. The committee also has as its membership, university dons, development experts, a former Agriculture Commissioner in the state and representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Daniel Iworiso-Markson,
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor
On Media & Public Affairs

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