The agriculture component of the Delta Beyond Oil Economic Development Model of the Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan administration has started to produce result and it is set to revolutionalize the economy of the state.
Already the state government’s Songhai-Delta Agriculture Development Centre located at Amukpe, which was once in a state of comatose has been resuscitated and put into productive use.
The centre is now a beehive of activities both for food crop cultivation and animal husbandry and is now attracting interns from several Universities including University of Benin, Niger Delta University and the Delta State University.
Governor Uduaghan who paid an unscheduled visit to the Soghai-Delta facility on Monday expressed delight at the new lease of life at the centre.
An elated Dr. Uduaghan promised to remove the supervision of the centre from civil service bureaucracy at the state Ministry of Agriculture and place it directly under the governor’s office for optimum performance.
Commending the new management of the Centre for the turn of events, the governor promised to provide grants that would facilitate the complete turn around of the scheme.
Governor Uduaghan explained that the centre was conceived and established by his predecessor as an agricultural demonstration training outfit for the production of farmers.
He disclosed that the state government’s Youth Empowerment Through Agriculture (YETA) would now be restructured for better result, adding that new sets of participants to be selected through a rigorous process would soon be sent to the centre for training.
According to him, the participants for the programme would now be youths that are prepared to farm and not those who see the scheme as political empowerment and patronage.
Governor Uduaghan advised the management of the agricultural training centre to improve the capacity of local farmers particularly in the processing and packaging of agricultural produce.
Executive Consultant to Songhai-Delta Amukpe, Dr. Theophilus Okpidi who conducted the governor round the facility said that most of the activities at the centre have come back on stream including a conference centre.
Okpidi took the governor round the piggery, grass cutter, snailery, quail birds, poultry, fisheries, abattoir sections as well as the cassava, plantain, pineapple farms among others.
He told the governor that waste from pigs could be used for the production of domestic cooking gas. The governor also saw locally fabricated machines and fruit drinks.
Dr. Okpidi also informed that the news about the turn around of the facility has spread like wild fire that the University of Benin, Niger Delta University among others now send their agricultural students to the centre for their internship.