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Agriculture: United Kingdom’s FCDO, Enugu gov’t partner on technical assistance 

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The United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has expressed readiness to partner with Enugu State government on food production and other agricultural developments through provision of technical assistance to improve the state’s agro-allied sector.

The UK body, which through its Propcom+ project, provides climate resilience programme and supports sustainable, smart agriculture and forestry transformation, gave the assurance, Tuesday, when the Team Leader, Dr Adiya Ode, led a delegation of the organization on a courtesy visit to the Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, at the Government House, Enugu.

She said the programme is a nine month-programme which started in 2023 and ended in January with nine states benefitting from the assistance it provided, adding that the programme focused on improvement on agricultural productivity and ways to reduce conflicts over natural resources.

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Ode disclosed that Enugu State picked interest in the programme because it saw the work they were able to do in some states like Edo State. She said they would provide technical assistance to the state government in areas of improved forestry resources, improved land resources of the state, and also rehabilitate the resources to produce commodities which will include oil palm, cashew, among other agricultural produce.

According to her: “You know Enugu State is one of the states that have some forest resources and some of those resources can be used for farming and for non-timber forestry.

“Enugu State is desirous of improving the management of these resources. So, Propcom+ will assist Enugu in the use of its land and its utility of forestry. We will be providing some technical supports, so that Enugu State can work out how that forest resource is used. This will ensure that the commodities that it produces can benefit the small holders and farmers. So, I think the indigenes will stand to benefit from this work.”

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Responding, Governor Mbah described the visit as a huge opportunity for Enugu State to maximize and boost the state’s agricultural production adding that “the state government is committed to the project and to the things they shared, what they set out as forest activities within the agricultural space, those areas for positive preservation, ensuring that they are not subject to random activities that may affect the quality of our forestry.”

The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, said the Commissioner for Agriculture and Agro-industrialization, Engr. Patrick Ubru, was working diligently to have a holistic plan toward technical advisory support in the area that they may not have competence in the state, noting, that they were very mindful that the plan would work.

“We do not take it for granted that FCDO is including us in this. We want to utilize every opportunity and make sure that our relationship is mutually beneficial. This is very important to us” he said.

The governor also said the state would be prioritizing the outcome of the intervention even as the administration anticipated more robust partnership and bigger intervention.

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