Akwa lbom State Government has again restated its commitment to tackling hunger through various agricultural programmes aimed at ensuring food sufficiency in the state.
The State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel made this known on Wednesday, at the 2019 South-South Agro Expo and Summit, organised by the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with Tafric Invest Nigeria Limited and Leadway Initiative for Rural Development, at Ibom Hall, Uyo.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, the State Chief Executive said his administration will ensure the provision of efficient and sustainable processing and storage facilities, to prevent post-harvest losses often experienced by farmers.
To boost food production in the state, Mr Emmanuel vowed that the state government will also see to quality inputs to farmers by strengthening the input supply framework.
On her part, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Women Affairs, Dr Glory Edet, lauded the state government’s interest in agricultural development and said the various agro programmes by the current administration were worth celebrating.
While expressing hope that the event would help renew people’s interest in agriculture and also galvanise relationships among the various stakeholders in the sector, Dr Edet urged people to take advantage of the second planting season in the state which had since been flagged-off by the state government.
Also speaking, Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Justice Godwin Abraham, described agriculture as a significant factor in the development of any nation and said rather than see the agriculture as a ridiculous venture, Akwa Ibom people should make good use of the arable land to fight hunger.
He called on government to be sincerely committed to agricultural development and futher lauded the organisers of the event.
Chairman on the occasion, Professor Patrick Utomi, called for a systematic approach to agricultural development, in order to end what he called ‘internally generated poverty.’
Earlier, Chairman of the Central Planning Committee for the event, Engr Ntiense UbonIsrael, said the Forum was aimed at finding lasting solutions to the various challenges facing agriculture in the nation.
He described the event as a tactical manifestation of the Dakkada Philosophy of Governor Emmanuel to bring about economic well-being and also reposition agriculture in the state.
Engr UbonIsrael said the event will also showcase various creative and technological ways for the youths to invest in agriculture and urged institutions like schools and churches to also contribute to the repositioning of agriculture for sustainable economic development.
He noted there were huge untapped potentials in the South-South region in the nation and said Tafric Invest Nigeria Limited and Leadway Initiative for Rural Development were ready to partner with local government areas to develop agriculture.
The Keynote Speaker at the event, Professor Adebiyi Daramola advised Governors in the South-South to match their talks with actions, to fast-track agricultural development and said government should also encourage young people to go into agriculture, by assisting them with resources like lands and collateral for loans.
He urged government to also engage in infrastructural development, like roads, to aid the transportation of agricultural produce and to also make the sector appealing.
Highpoints of the event was an award on Mr Udom Emmanuel as Most Agriculture Friendly Governor, inspection of exhibition stands and panel discussions on Agricultural Value Chain Development, Financing, Regulation, Compliance, Certification and Exportation.
Some of the products exhibited: