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BASIC EDUCATION SCHOOL AGRICULTURAL
PROGRAMME AND THE EXPLOITS

I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul
-WILLIAMS ERNEST HENLEY: 1849-1903
          (Echoes: In Memoriam) .

Perhaps, this was the kind of idea that echoed in the memory of His Excellency, Apostle Chief David Nweze Umahi when he launched out the state government return to farm policies and other empowerment programmes to raise the fortune bar of Ebonyi people at his inception in office in 2015.

The school agricultural programme as a part of his reformation policies in the state agricultural sector was aimed at disabusing the mind of the younger generation that agriculture is a job for the poor and the illiterates, and sensitize them on the need to under take career and profession in the agricultural sector as fundamental means of lively hood and bed rock of the economy.

The programme is targeted in short term to reduce hunger, poverty, and unemployment and in long run, place the state in zero hunger level, eradicate poverty, create employment and boost the state economy.

Like miracle, the dream has come true in the basic education school agricultural system.

Here are some of the exploits:-

Immediately after the flag off ceremony on 25th September, 2017 thirty –nine million naira was released for the programme.
Each of the thirty-one pilot schools in the state received one million naira.
The balance of eight million naira only was used for sensitization, supervision, monitoring of the programme at three senatorial zones and communal/school visit.

There were Radio/TV programmes such as Odiuko, Sunrise and Ebonyi Matter show-casing of the school agricultural activities
Not less than 71% of the basic education schools and their host communities have embraced the school agriculture with at least two hectares of cassava farm, yam, corn and gardens.
Some of the schools undertake fishery, poultry etc.
Most of the pilot schools can now comfortably feed their students on their own.
Some of the students have developed interest to pursue career in farming
School/community relationship has improved as communities have volunteered to assist the programme in their schools.
10. Pupils and students in day schools report of their earning from farming       activities.

APPRECIATION

Indeed, it is worthy to commend the state government under the leadership of the Education Loving Governor, His Excellency, Apostle Chief David Nweze Umahi who through his lieutenant, the Executive Chairman, Ebonyi State Universal Basic Education Board, High chief Hyacinth Ikpor (KSJI) has stimulated again the agricultural instinct of Ebonyi children within the basic education enclave.

The above attainments, if sustained could transform Ebonyi State into the fastest growing and self-sustained economy in the next four years.

Okeh Veronica Nkechi
Desk Officer
School Agriculture.