Delta State Government has resuscitated its Songhai-Delta Agriculture Development Centre at Amukpe as part of its programme to revolutionise the agriculture sector.
Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, who paid an unscheduled visit to the site on Tuesday, said he was delighted at the new lease of life at the farm and promised to remove the supervision of the centre from civil service bureaucracy and place it directly under the governor’s office for optimum performance.
He commended the new management of the centre for the turnaround and said that he would provide grants that would facilitate the complete turnaround of the centre.
He said the centre was conceived by his predecessor as an agricultural demonstration training outfit for the production of farmers.
He disclosed that the State Government’s Youth Empowerment Through Agriculture would now be restructured for better result, adding that new sets of participants to be selected would soon be sent to the centre for training.
According to him, the participants for the programme would now be youths that are prepared to farm and not those who see the scheme as political empowerment and patronage.
The governor advised the management of the agricultural training centre to improve the capacity of local farmers particularly in the processing and packaging of agricultural produce.
Executive Consultant to Songhai-Delta Amukpe, Dr. Theophilus Okpidi who conducted the governor round the facility said that most of the activities at the centre have come back on stream including a conference centre.
Okpidi took the governor round the piggery, grasscutter, snailery, quail birds, poultry, fisheries, abattoir sections as well as the cassava, plantain, pineapple farms among others.
He told the governor that waste from pigs could be used for the production of domestic cooking gas. The governor also saw locally fabricated machines and fruit drinks.
The consultant also said the news about the turnaround of the facility has spread like wild fire that the University of Benin, Niger Delta University among others now send their agricultural students to the centre for their internship.