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A two- day outreach zonal work planning meeting to finalize rice, cassava and sorghum commodities work plan for 2018 has commenced in Awka.

The meeting, organized by Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program Phase -1, ATASP-1, for Adani-Omor Staple Crop Processing Zone, drew participants from the national office of ATASP-1, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, Ibadan, Africa rice, International Crop Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics, Ministry of agriculture and staff of the zonal office of ATASP-1, among other stakeholders.
Declaring the meeting open, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export, Mr. Afam Mbanefo, enjoined the participants to always ensure that the state is fully integrated into their activities.
Mr. Mbanefo, who urged state farmers to key into the program, said it is designed to succeed because it is infrastructure- based and will assist the state manage rural migration.
The National Program coordinator of ATASP-1, Mr. Haruna Akwashiki, said that the meeting will provide the impetus for their plan on accelerated implementation of outreach activities in ATASP 1 zones for year 2018.
Mr. Akwashiki, represented by the National Outreach Specialist, ATASP-1, Mr. Festus Izuakor, listed the objectives of the zonal planning meeting to include the review of the 2017 field activities, addressing issues of weak synergy between the outreach program and zonal offices and issue of poor communication among different partners, among others.
The Zonal Program Coordinator, ATASP-1, Adani-Omor Staple Croup Processing Zone, Mr. Romanus Egba, said the meeting will afford them the opportunity of harmonizing their work plan with the zone as well as driving the value chain component through the outreach arrangement.
A Cassava Commodity Specialist, ATASP- 1, who is the Regent of Ihiala, Dr Richardson Okechukwu, said they want every farmer to get varieties with good agronomic practices that will ensure not less than twenty-five tons per hectare.

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