… pastors urged to go into farming
ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State government has encouraged households in the state to engage in “home farming” with emphasis on vertical farming methods.
Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr David Alagoa, stater this, hinting on plans by the ministry to embrace the concept as part of concerted measures to achieve food security and self-sufficiency.
He reiterated that home farming could take care of household food supplies.
Alagoa spoke as a special guest of honour at the opening of a two-day seminar on ‘Agriculture and Food Security’, organised by the Re-Branding Committee of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bayelsa State, in collaboration with Upgrade Liftings International Consulting firm for Christian leaders.
Speaking on the theme:
“Empowering the Christian Leaders” at Kingdom Grace Mission International Church, Yenagoa, Alagoa advised households not to throw away seedlings after consumption.
He maintained that Bayelsa has the most fertile soil where all types of food crops grow easily, promising that his office would collaborate with PFN to sensitise and mobilize households to go into sustainable agricultural practices as part of efforts to mainstream agriculture to achieve food security and self-sufficiency in food production.
Adviser to the Governor on Religious Matters, Rev. Godspower Asingba, who was special guest of honour at the seminar, commended the PFN in the state for organising the agricultural training seminar.
He enjoined Christian leaders to explore the various agricultural initiatives of the Douye Diri administration to achieve self-sufficiency in food production.
Asingba reiterated the urgent need for pastors to go into farming as a way of empowering themselves and their church members economically, adding that the government is favourably disposed to collaboration with the Christian community to alleviate poverty through sustainable agriculture.
In his opening remarks, Chairman of Bayelsa State Ecumenical Board, Pastor Dortimi Amatare, encouraged Christian leaders to venture into agriculture to meet their daily household food supplies.
He reiterated that the Bayelsa soil has natural fertiliser as a result of the annual perennial flooding which has become a blessing in making the soil very fertile for farming all year round.
In her remarks, a security expert and a cleric, Mrs Jane Alerk, admonished pastors to be liberal in giving to God and human beings in order to attract the manifold blessings from God.
She said farming could open doors for households, citing the example of what she saw when she visited South Korea where every household was engaged in home farming practices.
Chief host and chairman of PFN Re-Branding Committee, Apostle Timiebi Kiyaramo, explained that the seminar was put together by his committee in collaboration with Upgrade & Liftings International consulting firm for Christian leaders as was part of efforts to sensitise the church on the urgent need to engage in agriculture.
Kiyaramo stressed that as responsible Christian leaders, it was time to come together and take advantage of the ongoing sustainable agricultural initiatives of Douye Diri’s administration by simply keying into the agricultural drive which has several opportunities to help church leaders and members to become more productive.