Governor Siminalayi Fubara on Saturday paid a surprise visit to the multi-billion naira Songhai Integrated Farm in Bunu Community in Tai Local Government area of Rivers which was initiated former governor Rotimi Amaechi, but was abandoned in the eight years of Nyesom Wike administration.
After a tour at the farm which modeled after Integrated Agriculture Technology that is hinged on zero waste policy Fubara assured that his administration will revolutionise agriculture in the State using the Songhai Farms in Bunu as a launching pad.
Fubara inspected the current state of the Songhai Farm which is a shadow of itself.
He was conducted round some sections of the facility by Dr. Sammy Jaja, the Manager of the farm.
Speaking after the tour, Fubara explained the visit was sequel to the decisions at the last National Economic Council,NEC, meeting in Abuja where the need for diversification of the economy was harped on in order to cushion the current economic hardship experienced by the citizenry.
According to him: “In our last National Economic Council meeting, because of the present situation of our economy, which you are aware; the issue of removal of fuel subsidy and other economic bite affecting every one, everybody was advised to diversify. The other option is Agriculture and we were all advised to see what we can do to improve on food sufficiency.”
Fubara stated that revamping the Songhai Farms will serve the purpose of diversifying the economy of the State, get the people engaged meaningfully and increase the capacity of the state to attain food sufficiency.
According to Governor Fubara, “As I leave here now we are going to bring in all the stakeholders to discuss on the way forward. What I am seeing here will require long term planning and going back to the site to reinstating the installed facilities that have become desolate. The state government would not just do that, we will bring in people who have the strength and commitment to partner with us to bring back this place to life.”
“The advantages to derived when this place comes back to life include: food sufficiency and employment generation. It will also address issues of youth restiveness,” he added.
Earlier, the Centre Manager of the Shonghai Project, Dr. Sammy Jaja had stated that Project is based on a self driven zero waste model and has the potential of promoting economic development in the state, especially in the area of food sufficiency.
Our correspondent reports that there have been consistent clamour by concerned citizens of the state on the present administration to urgently revitalize the once booming Songhai farm that was established by the Amaechi administration.
Besides creating jobs directly and indirectly for thousands of people, it also served as Resort Centre for Conferences for Corporate bodies, produced tonnes of foods and their byproducts on daily basis.
The farm was into animal production like: Piggery, Fisheries, rearing of Grasscutter, Poultry, Snails among others. Assorted food crops were grown in the facility before its closure by former Governor Nyesom Wike, now the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.