The Head of Department of Agric Services of Ika North East Local Government Area, Mr. G.B Nwajei, has stated during a chat with newsmen in his office that his department is very much at work. His word, “I was posted to Ika North East LGA by the State Local Government Service Commission in April 2017. As the HOD of Agric of the council, we have done very well in many ways. Just last year, we embarked on the cultivation of yam minisetts production which is purposely for the production of yam seedlings for planting in the following year. The cultivation was fruitful, as we have over 4000 yam minisetts in our yam barn ready for sale and FADAMA has approached us for their purchase and distribution to farmers.
We also cultivated watermelon and maize. Our cultivation last year was small when compared to the large scale farming we are embarking on this year. Therefore, it is going to be a bumper harvest for us this year and we will have much to sell for the next farming season”.
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Mr. Nwajei said the reason they decided to go into the planting of yam minisetts is because they found out that yam cultivation in Ika area is going into extinction, disclosing that everyone now depends on the Benue (Hausa) yam to eat. He said they are embarking on the yam cultivation on a large scale in order to have enough to distribute to Ika people for planting in the next farming season. He said the advantage of their yam is that it can be cut in pieces for planting and it sprouts from all sides.
The HOD however frowned at the present situation in Ika land where farm works are now left in the hands of women alone, which he said is the reason yam cultivation is going into extinction. While lamenting that it is hard to find yam barns in farms like before, he appealed to Ika men who are farmers to help revive yam cultivation.
Mr. Nwajei appealed to well-to-do Ika people to assist the service financially and materially to be able to realize the vision of large scale farming. He equally appealed to farmers in the area to always visit them for counseling for higher yields and productivity.