Mkpoikana Udoma 23 October 2015, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Chairman of Eni Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Ciro Antonio Pagano and the Managing Director of Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, Mr. Massimo Insulla, says NAOC has so far assisted over 1,256 farmers with inputs and services delivery.
They spoke during this year’s Farmers Day celebration organised by the NAOC’s Green River Project, GRP, at Obie/Obrikom in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The GRP is an initiative of NAOC, which seeks to promote agriculture in four states of its operations, namely Imo, Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta states.
The duo, in their separate speeches, disclosed that over 550 youths have been trained through various skill acquisition programmes while over 57 cooperative societies have been supported, in about 120 communities within its areas of operation.
“It has always been our conviction that a better way of empowering the communities of the Niger Delta states is to intervene and empower them to realise their full economic potential by harnessing and adding value to their God-given resources.
“That way, more employment opportunities will be generated within the communities, earning capacities will be increased, and reduce restiveness in the communities.
“The objective of the Green River Project is to expose the communities to the techniques of modern farming and provide them with necessary supports and tools that can assist to transform the vast land and swamp resources of the states into good economic value.”
At the event, the Federal Government had announced plans to begin exporting over ten million metric tonnes of food to the Economic Communities of West African States, ECOWAS, by 2019.
President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Arc. Sunny Echono, said plans were underway to raise crop and livestock yields on millions of farms and make agriculture less laborious and more profitable.
Echono reiterated that agriculture remained the major option to diversifying the nation’s economy, adding that government would harness the agricultural resources to feed not just the country but, the West African region and the world.