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No fewer than 300 Ogbaru farmers yesterday gathered at the Ogbaru Council Secretariat on the invitation of the Chairman of the local government, Hon. Arinzechukwu Awogu. Also in attendance was the member representing Ogbaru 11 Constituency in Anambra state House of Assembly who is also the Chairman of House Committee on Agriculture, Hon. Sir Somto Udeze, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon Afam Mbanefo was represented by Mrs. Ify Uzoka (the Director of Expansion, Anambra State Agricultural Development Program ADP), while the Special Adviser to the governor on Farm Implements/Mechanization, Sir Paul Nwosu sent in his goodwill message to the gathering.
Also in attendance were the Senior Special Assistant Liaison to the governor on Local Government Matters, Engr. Okey Udeze; Special Assistant Liaison to the governor on Community Matters, Hon. Afam Enebeli; Secretary to the Local Government, Hon. Ifechukwu Aniegboka; Head of Agric Department, Ogbaru local government, Mrs. Egolum Augustina .O. and the Supervisory Councilor for Agric, Mrs. Josephine Ndubuaku among others.
Explaining the reason for inviting the farmers, Hon. Arinzechukwu Awogu said that the Council wanted to hear from the farmers to better understand where the farmers are needing help so as to work towards providing succor to the farmers. He noted that Ogbaru is a foodbasket of Anambra state and that there are loans and grants facilities, including other incentives that the state government in partnership with federal government and donor agencies gives to farmers in foodbasket areas and said that the Council would want to know if the Ogbaru farmers have been receiving theirs which they said no. 
The Council Chairman stressed with regrets the enslavement of the Ogbaru farmers who borrow N100,000 and pay N200,000 to their lenders every farming season thereby making the farmers labour almost in vain. He said that the state government has chosen Ogbaru local government for the flag-off of this year's farming season and said that government is looking for 150 Hectares of land in Ogbaru to cultivate vegetables, cucumber, watermelon, pineapple among others. The Council boss called on the President Generals of Town Unions to liaise with their various traditional rulers and elders to provide the land as soon as practicable so as to commence the project. 
Hon. Sir Someto Udeze, the Chairman of House Committee on Agriculture said that Ogbaru local government is blessed to have people who have the interest of the farmers at heart holding strategic positions in the Agric sector. He gave insight into FADAMA projects and how it has benefited a number of Ogbaru farmers. He regretted that Ogbaru farmers do not have an umbrella body which is why their share is sometimes stolen by others and gave a chilling example of how a purported list of grant takers for Ogbaru local government was contained with names of people from other local governments. He also called on the Ogbaru farmers to participate actively in all government's programs on Agriculture. 
The representative of the Commissioner for Agriculture who incidentally is married to Atani man, Mrs. Ify Uzoka, spoke on the opportunities that await the Ogbaru farmers. She said that the state government has a robust approach to assisting farmers and explained that if the land requested by government is made available that it is the farmers that will farm there with ready off-takers who will ensure that the farmers get value for their labor. 
In their response, the farmers thanked the Council Chairman for bringing them together to listing to their plight, saying that their greatest challenge is the Fulani herdsmen. They complained bitterly that the unchecked activities of the herdsmen was killing farmers economically and called for a total stoppage of herdsmen in the area.
In Conclusion: The Council Chairman spontaneously selected 16 persons from the meeting representing the 16 communities in Ogbaru and inaugurated them as the interim Executives of Ogbaru Farmers Association. The Council Chairman charged them to among other things draw up areas of needs of the Ogbaru farmers and has scheduled a meeting for the association with the Ministry Agriculture for  tomorrow, Thursday. The farmers will be led by Senior Special Assistant Liaison to the governor on Local Government Matters, Engr. Okey Udeze, Special Assistant Liaison to the governor on Community Matters, Hon. Afam Enebeli and Special Assistant Liaison to the governor on Community Matters, Hon. Hipolitus Obi.

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