In his welcome address, the
initiator of the competition Dr. Ehijene Ifeanyi told the gathering that his
desire, coupled with the encouragement from some notable personalities,
including the Obi of Abavo, has given him the encouragement to organize the
yearly event. He said that this year?s competition has Agricultural Science as
its focus, since of recent, the country has been laying much emphasis on
Agriculture, and that in Abavo, the people are well known for their agrarian life.
Dr. Ehijene also harped on the need for the people of the village to change
from their present way of farming, to mechanized system of farming. This, he
said, would lead to greater harvest.


his 9-page lecture titled strategies for improving Agriculture in Ika land, the
Director of Degree Programme, College of Education, Agbor, Delta State
University affiliate, Dr. Ugbo told the gathering that the rural sector of Ika
land is the producer of 95 percent of Ika?s food crops and livesstocks, and
that it is the rural farmers who carry the burden of community development. He
however stated that the level of low productivity has reflected in the soaring
prices of agricultural produce in Nigeria. Dr. Ugbo maintained that
there is every need to improve the level of farming in Ika land due to the
following reasons: The provision of increased food supplies, provision of
gainful employment, provision of capital and capital formation, release of
labour for industrial development, provision of market for goods and increase
in rural welfare. ?In fract, the central goal of agricultural policy is to
develop in a rapid manner, the enormous growth potentials of agriculture as a
means of stimulating more rapid development of the overall economy,? he told
the gathering. The lecturer further said that inadequate sound policy managers,
poor implementation of policies, lack of public accounting system, inadequate
processing, storage and marketing facilities, and lack of funding for
agricultural development are the reasons why government policies on agriculture
do not yield the desired results. He therefore posited that farmers in Ika
land, and indeed, Nigeria
should be taken into confidence in matters relating to the development of
Agriculture and their communities, so that they will eventually influence their
overall welfare and standard of living. He called for the collaboration between
the government and other agencies, to promote the growth of agriculture in the


chairman of the occasion, Prof. J.E. Alika of the Department of Crop Science, University of Benin,
Edo State, thanked Dr. Ehijene for anchoring
the competition. He stated that the people of Abavo are very great farmers in
Ika land and that the occasion is an eye-opener for all the persons present. He
thank Dr. Ugbo for a job well done in delivering the lecture which he said, was
very timely. He also praised the efforts of Rev. and Mrs. Egba, the proprietors
of Godswill Academy for the excellent performance of
their students.


his part, H.R.M., Alhaji Mohammed Mustapher Irenuma II, the Obi of Abavo
Kingdom said that the people of Abavo have been doing very well in terms of yam
and cassava production, not only for the Ika people, but for the whole nation.
He, however, advised the people to venture into other areas of agriculture such
as fishery and animal rearing. He appealed to the organizers of the event and
other notable politicians in the area, to use their influence towards
implementing most of the laudable agricultural policies that have been planned by
the government.


High point of the occasion was the presentation of cash gifts to
the winners of the science competition. The winners include Edokpolor Hans,
Onwuka Ezekiel, who took the third and the second positions respectively. The
first position went to Okeke Dorcas, who also got a trophy and a cash reward.
All three winners are Senior Secondary School II student of Godswill Academy
Abavo, the same school that won the competition last year, 2008.

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