BY IKENNA ORIOHA#
In order to have surplus food, promote the economy of Imo State to ensure a peaceful and prosperous citizenry, a United States based Imo indigene, Mrs. Bernice Uche Ebiringa, who is also a philanthropist, an agriculturist and business mogul has encouraged Imo people especially those living in the State to actively go into farming such as poultry, snailing, piggery, crops cultivation – vegetable, tomato, okro, water melon, cucumber, plantain, rubber, palm plantation, etc.
The agriculturist cum Model also advised Imo indigenes to engage extensively in trading; buying and selling of goods and services including learning skills like sewing, weaving, fashion and designing, hair dressing, barbing, painting, carpentry, bead making, soap and powder production, ICT, mechanic, etc, to be self reliant.
She urged women to also brace up to meaningful ventures and not depend on their husbands on everything as such could be disastrous on the family.
During a chat with journalists at her Avu, Owerri West LGA residence, Mrs. Ebiringa reiterated that she has encouraged many Imolties especially females to effectively engage in meaningful activities such as farming, petty or large commerce; buying and selling including engaging in skills who she said are today living happily.
She explained that her passion motivated her to import fertilizer, some seeds into Imo State from America where she lives, adding that she bought large quantity of land within Imo State to cultivate on.
“I have plans to cultivate plantain, more crops as vegetable, tomato, okro as well as expand the poultry farm, for I am a core business woman who values farming” she said
She advised Imo people to engage in agriculture and other productive ventures such as trading, mechanic, sewing, bead making and soap production and also take good advantage of government’s progammes on agriculture enhancement policy and skill acquisition program.
She expressed regret that many youths in the State are into vices because of their laziness and inability to get white colar jobs, stating that when people actively engage in agriculture whether big or small, they will surely be financially independent, having food security to promote good living and success.
“While I was in America, I always see ugly pictures of African kids suffering from kwashioko due to lack of good or nutritious food and skinny women, sex slave girls – then I was motivated to come home and assist in my own way to better the lives of my people – yes, I have been doing philanthropy in America and I have been a business woman who is married with kid
Ebiringa said”Because my family has enough food, enough money – I started coming back home, to Imo State, I loaded 40 feet of container of food: 200 bags of rice, tomato, peanuts, clothes, okro, fertilizer for my poultry farm. Many of these items were shared to Imo women and children and I taught and encouraged them and empowered them to indulge in farming which they all agreed and felt happy. I cooked for them on Christmas Day and gathered them at the Market Square to eat and be happy”
The Obowo born philanthropist cum business guru said she wants to give back to the society where she belongs. She urged the governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha to see as qualified and appoint her the Commissioner for Agriculture in Imo State.
She said “I want the government to work with me as I will work with them. If I am given the opportunity to work in Rochas government, I can contribute my own quota to develop Imo State more, when the government helps me, I can also help the masses. I know how to use my money – to enlarge my land to grow food so that many will gain from me. The agriculture policy, roads constructed including security here are avenues that can encourage business, enhance better living, as well as sustain economy Rochas has done well for Imo people and needs people like me to work with”.
Ebiringa also commended Governor Okorocha on security and free education program Imolites are presently enjoying implored the governor to partner with her to promote the economy of Imo State through agriculture, thanking her friends in America and pleaded for their assistance and support to continue to fly high.