Paschal-Rico Group of Companies CEO Pascal Aneke and Switzerland returnee Sunday Ozokolo recently distributed agro inputs to farmers in Ezeagu LGA, Enugu, aiming to rekindle agricultural enthusiasm in the region. The initiative included motorcycles, agro chemicals, and cash, with a focus on promoting farming and addressing challenges faced by local communities.
Ozokolo emphasized the potential of agriculture to address contemporary challenges, drawing inspiration from practices observed abroad. Recognizing the agricultural lag among his people, Ozokolo expressed the need to empower and encourage them, with this year’s emphasis on yam cultivation.
The distribution’s highlight was a competition, where the best Ezeagu yam cultivator received a motorcycle and two agro chemicals. The second and third prizes included motorcycles and agro chemicals, promoting healthy competition among farmers. Additionally, four farmers received consolation prizes comprising one carton of agro chemicals each, accompanied by cash.
To ensure the authenticity of Ezeagu yams, agricultural experts were invited to verify their origin. Ozokolo assured that the event would become an annual affair to sustain the momentum in farming.
Aneke, in his appeal to the youth, stressed the importance of embracing farming for community development. He highlighted the abundance of arable land in the LGA but expressed concern about the reluctance of many youths to engage in farming. Aneke urged the government to facilitate access roads for transporting produce to markets.
Guest speaker Ifeoma Obidiaso, a community woman leader, delivered a lecture on “Agriculture as a Developmental Means in the Rural Area.” She emphasized the significant benefits of agriculture, encouraging women to participate in large-scale farming. Obidiaso expressed hope that the empowerment program would revitalize agriculture, combat poverty, and instill a renewed understanding of its importance in the community.
Farmers, like Jonex Okongwu, expressed delight at the empowerment, noting it as the first of its kind in the area. The initiative marks a positive step toward agricultural revitalization in Ezeagu, fostering community development through renewed enthusiasm for farming.