Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has urged the people of Abia State to replace flowering shrubs on the streets with high-yielding Tenera species of palm trees.
Ikpeazu gave the charge at the Abia State Ministry of Agriculture Ahiaba Umueze Palm Nursery, while distributing two million seedlings to the citizens.
He said that the high-yielding palm species could produce over 15 palm trees at once and would improve the economic fortunes of the people.
He said that he had directed that the palms be planted on street medians, adding that they were more economically productive than flowering shrubs, which he described as “useless’’.
He said that if the people of Abia would cultivate the Tenera palms in large quantity, it would provide jobs for the jobless youths.
He expressed the hope that every local government chairman, who would be given 40,000 seedlings each, would share them to all the farmers in their council areas.
The governor prayed that the seedlings would provide bountiful harvests and benefits for those who would plant it.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Chief Uzo Azubuike said that the idea of boosting the state’s economy through agriculture was in response to the government’s policy thrust of making agriculture one of its pillars for development.
He said that the ministry was doing everything to ensure that the state government’s plan to instill confidence in all operators within the agricultural value chain in Abia was realised.
Azubuike said his ministry had pioneered mushroom farming in Abia, revolutionised poultry farming with three clusters of farms and bought equipment for mechanised agriculture for Abia farmers at subsidised rate.
He thanked the governor for the palm planting initiative and promised that his ministry would do everything to support his visions for the progress of Abians.