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UK pledges to support Enugu Govt. with technical assistance on food production

The United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) has pledged to partner with the Enugu State government on food production and other agricultural developments.

The organisation said the partnership would be achieved through the provision of technical assistance to improve the state’s agro-allied sector.

Dr. Adiya Ode, team leader of the organisation, gave the assurance on Wednesday when she led a delegation on a courtesy visit to Gov. Peter Mbah at the Government House, Enugu.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the UK body, through its Propcom+ project, provides a climate resilience programme and supports sustainable, smart agriculture and forestry transformation.

Ode said the programme was a nine-month programme that started in 2023 and ended in January 2024, with nine states benefiting from the assistance it provided.

She added that the programme focused on improving agricultural productivity and ways to reduce conflicts over natural resources.

She said that Enugu State picked up interest in the programme because it saw the work they were able to do in some states, like Edo.

She, however, said they would provide technical assistance to the state government in areas of improved forestry resources, improved land resources of the state, and also rehabilitate the resources to produce commodities.

This, she said, included oil palm and cashew, among other agricultural produce.

“You know Enugu State is one of the states that has some forest resources, and some of those resources can be used for farming and non-timber forestry.

“Enugu State is desirous of improving the management of these resources. So, Propcom+ will assist Enugu in the use of its land and the utility of forestry and provide some technical support.

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“Enugu State can work out how that forest resource is used and ensure that the commodities it produces can benefit smallholders and farmers,” she said.

Responding, Mbah described the visit as a huge opportunity for Enugu State to maximize and boost the state’s agricultural production.

He added that the state government was committed to the project and to the ideas of the group.

The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, said the Commissioner for Agriculture and Agro-industrialization, Mr. Patrick Ubru, was working diligently to have a holistic plan toward technical advisory support in the area.

“We do not take it for granted that FCDO is including us in this. We want to utilize every opportunity and make sure that our relationship is mutually beneficial. This is very important to us,” he said.

The governor also said the state would be prioritising the outcome of the intervention even as the administration anticipated a more robust partnership and bigger interventions. (NAN)

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