Abia - The Federal Government has approved the distribution of 92 000 improved oil palm seedlings to farmers in Abia, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Ike Onyenweaku, said.
Onyenweaku made the disclosure in Umuahia on Tuesday.
He said that the gesture was part of the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) of the Federal Government under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA).
The commissioner said that the state had also been given the right to grow the seedlings for onward delivery to farmers.
He said that the National Institute for Oil palm Research (NIFOR) had been given the mandate to provide the seedlings to the state in order to start the process.
“The FG has given us the right to grow the nursery in line with the oil palm development initiative in Abia,” he said.
Onyenweaku said that the nursery would be sited at Lodu in Umuahia North Local Government Area.
He said that the oil palm sector was dear to the state as it repositions itself to re-engineer the sector.
“We have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a Malaysian conglomerate for the development of the sector,” he said.
Onyenweaku said that Abia had comparative advantage in oil palm production and urged local government councils in the state to leverage on the opportunity to enhance their internally generated revenues.