World Food Day: Edo govt announces zero-tolerance for hunger

The Edo State Government on Saturday said that it had zero-tolerance for hunger and was committed to improving the livelihood of it’s people through the fight against hunger, poverty and malnutrition in the state.

The permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Peter Aikhuomobhogbe  told newsmen in Benin that every human being had a fundamental right to adequate food and be free from hunger.

Aikhuomobhogbe who was speaking in commemoration of the World Food Day,  said there was the need to build a future of high productivity, better nutrition and better life without prejudice to a sustainable and safe environment.

The World Food Day is celebrated annually on October 16 to promote global awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger, and to highlight the need to ensure healthy diets for all.

The theme of this year’s celebration is “Our Actions Are Our Future. Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and better life”.

Aikhuomobhogbe said the government had  put in place numerous agricultural programmes and other related small scale industries that would facilitate food production, create jobs and wealth in the state.

He explained that over 45,000 hectares of land had been allocated to six investors under Edo State Oil Palm Programme( ESOPP), initiative for the revitalisation of the oil palm sector for global competitiveness, job and wealth creation.

“The Edo  State Agripreneur Programme has been positioned to promote sustainable livelihoods and create at least 30,000 jobs in crops, livestock and Catfish production value chains.

“This year a total of 444 hectares have been cultivated for rice grain production at Agenebode, warrake, and Agbede.

“The Catfish production component of the programme is ongoing with the training and empowerment of over 329 farmers producing over 400,000 catfish.

“Over 2,050 small scale farmers have so far benefited from inputs, fertilisers, under the Independent Farmers Initiative (IFI) of the state government to cushion the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The empowerment of over 627 cassava, broilers and catfish farmers across the three senatorial zones in the state is ongoing under

Donor assisted programme,

Edo CARES Project.

“Over 250 incubatees (Youth trainees) and 50 incubators (Established Agripreneur) have been trained.

“And are being empowered to own their Agric-entreprises under the IFAD Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise Programme in Niger-Delta (LIFE-ND) Project.

“The right to adequate food is realized when every man, woman and child has the physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement. 

“Hungry people have learning difficulties, are less productive at work, are sick more often and live shorter lives.

“It is in realisation of this that the state government has committed resources to guarantee food security and eradicate hunger  in the state,” he said.

Aikhuomobhogbe stated that the Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) would continue to provide farmers with access to improved extension services and high quality planting inputs.

 He added that government had engaged new Agricultural frontline Officers to strengthen the extension delivery system in the state.

According to the permanent Secretary, the task of achieving food security in the State is on course through the various agricultural programmes, initiatives and donor assisted programmes.

Aikhuomobhogbe  appealed to all citizens and residents of the state to make healthy eating a way of life and join government to make the state free of hunger.

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