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Ebonyi government orders N10million agro machines

By on September 24, 2013


Ebonyi State Governor, Chief Martin Elechi, says the state government had placed order for multi-million naira agro machines.

The machines, which according to him include trans-planters and combine harvesters, will be imported from China and Vietnam to boost rice production in the state.

Elechi, who announced this on Monday, received a rousing welcome back to the state after a 10-day economic mission to China and Vietnam.

Members of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), state executive Council members, prominent indigenes and traditional dancing troupes besieged the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu to receive him and accompany him and his economic team, particularly farmers to Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital.

The entourage trooped to the Governor’s Lodge, Government House Abakaliki.

In his remarks, the governor confirmed that a water pipe manufacturing plant valued at over N200 million would be established in the state by a Chinese firm to commence production before the end of the year.

He added that the pipe factory would reduce cost of procuring pipes for water reticulation from the two mega water schemes at Oferekpe and Ukawu to other parts of the state by 40 percent.

He said, “if you want to plant your rice in upland area, you don’t have to have a nursery; you drill the grains and wait for rain to fall. When the rain fails they will sprout and grow. That is not new here; we have been doing it for over 20 years. But the mystifying one was the trans-planter that moves like a crab picking seedlings and sowing in straight rows.

“And we made up our mind to buy that. They drill, they trans-plant and there is the combine harvester; as they cut, they thrash and in no time they have finished a whole field of rice farm. So that is in my own thinking a done deal because these are the areas that our farmers find not so pleasant; planting and harvesting and of course the farmers lose a lot of money because of high cost of labour. We are determined to cheapen the cost of labour so that more people will do more rice planting and make more profit”.

The Ebonyi Governor expressed gratitude to Nigeria’s Ambassador to Vietnam, Mathias Okafor, an indigene of the state, for facilitating the visit to Vietnam.

He further stated that his delegation returned with the full catalogue of all the different machines.

“What we are going to do in the next one week or so is that we bring together those we trained in Songhai, those we sent to Singapore and those who went to China and Vietnam; we sit down and review all the lessons we got from these centres and agree on our action plan so that it will not be a question of talking, talking, talking. We want to see it in action. The rice mills are already in place waiting for grains, the grains must come so that everybody has something doing.

“The second one reason for the trip is how to have in place here in Ebonyi state, a factory that would produce a water transmission pipe that we have on our agenda. You know, to transmit water from Oferekpe to Abakaliki is costing us more than N8 billion and if we have 360 kilometers of primary pipelines in all the 13 local government areas and an additional 230 kilometers of secondary pipeline to ensure that every community has water according to our design and plan it stands to reason that we should find a cheaper way of producing the pipes.

“That is the second reason why we went to China and by that arrangement; we will be producing the pipes at about 40 percent of the original cost. So we are going to put all hands on deck to ensure that before the end of this year the components are here in Ebonyi state”, he stressed.