Friday, 11 November 2016

Benue Declares Fridays Work-Free to Optimize Harvest

The Benue State Government has  declared every Friday beginning from November 11 work-free.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and ICT, Mr.Tahav Agerzua, said, the state executive meeting approved that Friday every week be work-free days .

It noted that the decision was reached during the state executive meeting which was presided over by Governor Samuel Ortom.

According to the statement, it will start from November 11, 2016 to end of January next year.

This, it said would enable civil servants harvest the produce in their farms.

It further said that workers should use the last working day of the week for farming in the face of dwindling economy which made it difficult for the administration to pay salaries.

The statement added that the council, however, exempted some workers in education sector, maintaining that the school calendar should be allowed to run normally.

It will be recalled that the Imo state government proposed similar policy but was rejected by organized labour.

Benue State is Nigeria’s most fertile land for farming and referred to as food basket of the nation.

Its lands are most fertile for the cultivation of oranges but most of the oranges produce in the state are lost. Farmers are in pain over the annual development in the state.

After the ban on imported fruit juice in 2002 by the federal government many orange farmers in Benue state had hoped for a prosperous time in the farming and marketing of oranges.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Benue State is Nigeria’s largest producer of orange but annually, between 48-48.5 per cent of oranges is lost, due to lack of proper markets, storage, and processors.

Statistics also show that 76.8% of people living in Benue state are either involved in direct farming, or agro-related trading activities.

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