Agricultural & Food Hub
Some people said the stones were left to increase the weight of the rice and cheat customers. But its probably because the producers lacked the tools to really weed out all the stones that come with harvesting it.
In recent times, eﬀorts have been made to improve the rive grown in the state with rice mills and more acreage being planted. The state also has salt and limestone that are available in commercial quantities.
As part of the old South eastern state, Abakiliki and Aﬁkpo were considered the states backwaters. Mostly made of rural farmers, the areas produced what the state needed and nothing more. Often, they were not treated well and seemed cut oﬀ from the main stream of Igbo life.
Ebonyi has borne the brunt of this. The creation of the state was a liberation of sorts and has helped bridge some of the gaps. But you can still see the result of her disconnect with the rest of the Igbo population in the way it reacts to zonal issues.
Sometimes taking a diﬀerent position from the rest of the zone on national issues. This is understandable though eﬀorts have been made to bridge this. The eﬀect is that the state is less likely to welcome investors from the rest of the zone to explore its huge potential as an agricultural state.
Under the right circumstance, the state should see itself as the agricultural state of the East. Modernizing its agriculture will require investments from outside and should it position itself, the closest investors it could get are those from the zone.
DevEast belIeves in the specialization of states in the zone to allow it attract investment and help develop the zone as a single economic zone. Ebonyi state is the natural place to focus the zones agricultural specialization.
What to do?
The Government and elites of Ebonyi must rise up and take the lead in positioning the state as the Agricultural base of the South-East able to produce enough food for the region and beyond.
They must promote and create incentives for the private sector to bring in the investment that is required to build agro processing plants and develop the Agricultural value-chain.