Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta says the state government is partnering with farmers in the state to commence export of plantain and garri flour to the United Kingdom.
The governor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Tam Brisibe, stated this on Monday at an occasion to mark the World Food Day in Asaba.
He noted that the state has a comparative advantage and ranked best within the country in the production of plantain and garri, a by-product of cassava.
The governor said the theme of the Day, “Change the Future of Migration, Invest in Food Security and Rural Development,” was in line with the state government’s agricultural empowerment programme.
Okowa said that the world in the last few years recorded great migration of people, particularly the youths, from the rural to urban centres in search of jobs, safety and security.
He said that the incident of migration had remained a global challenge and a threat to agriculture.
“Plans are at advanced stage to ensure that Delta joins agricultural crop exporters; we are looking at the possibility of exporting red and white garri and plantain flour to the UK.
“The export programme will facilitate and improve agricultural production activities in the rural areas in respect of cassava production and plantain thereby reversing the trend of rural-urban migration,” Okowa said.
The governor also said the solution to the challenge was in the provision of farming methods to attract youths as well as provision of lands and other incentives to the farmers while boosting rural development.
He said the state agricultural programme was tilted to the rural areas which had encouraged and empowered many youths, women and retirees in returning to farming.