By Damian Duruiheoma, Enugu
A Southeast group, the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) has launched its Akuruo-Ulo Agro-Allied Co-operative Movement aimed at reinventing agriculture and reducing food importation into the region.
This is just as the member representing Ebonyi North Senatorial District; Senator Sam Egwu has volunteered to train 10 youths from the five states in the region for free in his farm school as a way of supporting the ADF initiative.
President of Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), Prof. Uzodimma Nwala bemoaned the continued dependence of Ndigbo on other regions in Nigeria for food and other agricultural produce.
Nwala, who noted that it was time for the Igbo to reinvent agriculture in the Southeast and end food importation in the region, explained that Akuruo-Ulo movement is a new policy of intensive/extensive farming aimed at the attainment of economic prosperity, food security, youth employment, land security and the overall economic well-being of Ndigbo in the new millennium.
The event, he added, was geared towards creating public awareness on the Agro-Allied ventures being established by ADF in the five states of the Southeast for sustainable development in Igboland.
He said: “We invested a lot in agriculture in the past. We had farm settlements in Uzo-Uwani in Enugu and other places but along the line, things changed. I remember when I was travelling to the North and we had to travel in a vehicle transporting cassava from the East to the North. Today, the reverse has become the case. It is shameful that we can’t feed ourselves anymore; to the extent that they now threaten us with onions.
“ADF has now thought about the situation and decided that it is important for us to inculcate how to produce what we eat as part of our programme and as part of our campaign. We have started it for some time now.
“Despite the current situation, we are consoled to know that God has led some of our people into massive agriculture which is very necessary now.”
Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who was represented by the Commissioner for Information, Chidi Aroh said his government had since prioritised agriculture.
He assured that the state was willing to play an important part in the process of revolutionising agriculture in the Southeast.
The former Governor of Ebonyi State, Dr Sam Egwu who was the Chairman on the occasion recounted his agricultural intervention in the state during his administration.
The Senator, who declared himself as one of the richest farmers in Nigeria, pledged to support the Akuruo-Ulo Cooperative Movement in its drive to make the Southeast self-sufficient in agriculture and promised to train 10 youths from southeast in his farm as part of his contribution to the foundation.
The programme featured a documentary on the Akuruo-Ulo philosophy which emphasized the need for Igbo businessmen to invest at home as well as the presentation of shares for investment by ADF members and other patriotic/interested members of the public.
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