Prominent Urhobo leaders, yesterday, met in Asaba, the Delta State capital to review and harness the agricultural potential in Urhobo land with a view to creating employment and reducing poverty in its 24 kingdoms.
The leaders, who stated this at the third edition of Urhobo Economic and Investment Summit, said subsistence farming was no longer fashionable and could not create the desired economic prosperity in the state.
With the theme: Harnessing Agricultural Potentials for Growth and Development in Urhobo Land, the summit was attended by Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, Ben Igbakpa, Francis Waive, and Efe Afe, David Edevbie, who is Chief of Staff (COS) to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, academics, traditional rulers and development experts, among others.
Omo-Agege noted that the Urhobo nation was endowed with natural resources needed to sustain a stronger agrarian economy, adding that there were several untapped potential in the agricultural sector that could be harnessed to create jobs, support rural development and secure sustainable food production for the ethnic nationality.
Speaking, Igbakpa stressed the need for the Urhobo to be adequately prepared to tap
Waive said there was the need for reorientation of Urhobo farmers to make them more receptive to government programmes aimed at promoting agricultural activities.
Edevbie said the theme of the summit was apt and a wake-up call to fully harness the agricultural potentials for better socio-economic growth of the Urhobo nation.
On his part, a professor of Animal Science at the Delta State University, Anwai, Lawrence Bratte, said the inability of Urhobo farmers to transcend small-scale farming and adopt modern agricultural techniques remained a drawback in the quest to leverage the gains of the agrarian sector.
Earlier, convener of the summit, Kingsley Ubiebi said his group was an interventionist body and a think-tank set up to complement the efforts of other groups to achieve an economically viable Urhobo nation where peace and security would reign.