AGRICULTURE

AGRICULTURE

The Institute at inception addressed the most disturbing problem facing the people which is food and thus at the instance for the then Bishop of the Enugu Diocese, Right Reverend Doctor Michael Eneja, established its 190 hectare integrated Justice and Peace Farms at Ugwu-Omu Nike, approximately twenty five kilometers from Enugu city centre.

The large expanse of land which today plays host to the largest functional farm in Eastern Nigeria producing large quantities of food that serves the requirements of the people of Enugu and its environs was acquired by the late bishop of the diocese, Right Reverend Doctor Godfrey Mary Paul Okoye.

The farms operated with the objective to make agriculture more attractive encourages young people to reside in the farm community which boasts improved living standards completed with good sanitation, healthcare and other social amenities.

Hundreds of casual, support and permanent staff members of the farm with their army of dependants equally have their spiritual need ministered to by senior seminarians from the Catholic Diocese of Enugu on yearly apostolic work.

Undergraduates of tertiary institutions in Enugu state and environs receive industrial training at the farm while members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) are also deployed to the farm for their primary assignments.

The farm which maintain scientific relationship with University of Nigeria Nsukka, the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Enugu, the Enugu State Agricultural Development Project, the Centre for International Development and Agricultural Cooperation Israel and the Voralberg State Government, Austria, operate the following agricultural units.

The Poultry farm raises two species of birds namely, broiler and pullets in a continuous system with automated gadgets with different apartments for brooding and producing mature hens in batches four times a year.

The Piggery on the other hand has the capacity to maintain about two hundred and sixty four pigs of varied species including boars, sows and piglets. The Fish Ponds has the capacity for more than one thousand fingerlings and ensure steady breeding and harvesting of fish all year.

The Feed Mill functions in the farm and serves its poultry and piggery feed requirements. Crop Production in the farm records yearly output of maize and soya beans to the tune of seventy tones which are also threshed in the farm to provide feed raw materials for the farm's livestock.

The Palm Plantation in the farm which occupies land area of approximately two hectares produces palm for feed production and palm oil sold to members of the public. Dry Season Irrigation system operated in the farm ensures that pumpkin ugu, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, pepper, okro and maize are produced all season for sale to the public.

Two rivers in the farm which run into a lake powered by electric generating sets supply water and light to the farm community.

The water is also piped to the sprinklers, drips and furrows to water the farm fields. The Pineapple Orchard occupies five hectares of land producing over on hundred and fifty thousand pineapples yearly. Pineapple breeding and multiplication are carried out in one and half hectare of land to provide the orchard with suckers to replace aging pineapples.

Machine and Machinery in the farms include tractors, planters and mowers that facilitate cropping, planting and weeding processes in the plantations. The workshop in the farm is manned by highly trained technicians that repair and maintain the farm machineries. Training offered to the farm personnel overseas and locally expose them to modern methods and trends in the agricultural sector. Marketing of farm produce is carried out at several strategically located outlets at reasonable prices.