July 03, (THEWILL) – The Bayelsa State Government has promised to empower its subsistence farmers for greater productivity.
Speaking at the weekend in Yenagoa, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, David Alagoa, said that the prosperity government decided to empower the subsistence farmers in the state because, according to him, more than 80 percent of the food eaten in the state comes from them.
He said that the Bayelsa State government encouraged the farmers to come up with their produce for showcasing and empowerment.
He said: “If you look behind you, for example, those are products that are made in Bayelsa. Everything you see there are made in Bayelsa the plantain four, the palm oil. We are now trying to encourage farmers to come forward on Monday. They are coming with all their produce. Let us see what Bayelsa farmers are doing. Let them come, let us see and then we can start coming into some sort of relationship with the farmers.
“First is to get food security because I tell you, 80 percent of food that we eat comes from subsistence farmers. It is those village farmers that feed us. So we have to empower them. That is one angle that we are looking at.
“We are talking about empowering the subsistence farmers in the sense that they produce most of the foods. They are indeed the ones who need the tools. We are in the package to boost the subsistence farmers because if now they are doing what they are doing without this empowerment, you can imagine what they can do if they are empowered.”
Assuring that government presence will get closer to the farmers now than before, the Commissioner said: ”We are going to have 24 offices so that everybody is nearest to their constituencies rather than their local government. If we use the constituency approach to farming, we will reach more people.”