By Aniekeme Finbarr
In a space of one year, Governor Udom Emmanuel has inaugurated a technical committee on Agriculture and Food sufficiency to provide technical inputs and fashion out a road map for attainment of food sufficiency
Farmers and stakeholders in the state across various Agricultural Value Chains have been grouped into value chains clusters and sensitized on Government determination to use agriculture as akey driver of the state’s industrialization policy
He has resuscitated cocoa production through the establishment of Cocoa Development Committee chaired by the Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo MFR
He has flagged off the Cocoa Maintenance Scheme to improve the yield of cocoa from the present 300kg/ha to 1,500kg/ha between 2016 to 2019
He has provided support for 8,200 cocoa farmers to cultivate 30,000 hectares of Cocoa
He has trained 480 youths on Cocoa Maintenance Scheme
He has approved counterpart funds for FADAMA 111 Programme. Under this programme, cassava is targeted for cultivation annually between 2016 and 2019. The state is expected to cultivate 6,000ha of cassava in 2019 thereby moving the present cluster to core status
He has approved the establishment of three new cassava processing factories in the three senatorial districts in the state namely: Ibesikpo Asutan LGA (Nung Udoe, Eket LGA (Ikot Okudom) and Abak LGA (Ikot Ekang). This will reduce the cost of processing cassava into other derivatives such as fofo, garrison, and pallets as well as their prices significantly.
He has approved the reactivation and management of the defunct state premier fisheries at Obio Eket, Nsit Ubium by Merlot Anny Limited
He has secured 10billion naira for small scale rice growers through the Anchor borrowers program of the Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with the Bank of Agriculture, a total of 63,715 hectares of swamp land is targeted for cultivation by 48,920 rice farmers in the state
He is partnering with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development under the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) on the provision of farm inputs for a total of 3,600,000 farmers in Akwa Ibom state between 2016 and 2019. A breakdown shows that 600,000 farmers will benefit from the scheme in 2016 while 800,000, 1,000,000 and 1,200,000 farmers are earmarked for 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively. Farmers in crops, livestock and fisheries subsectors are expected to benefit from the scheme
He has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for AkwaPrime Hatchery and Poultry Ltd at Mbiaya Uruan, Uruan LGA. The project which comprises a feed mill and a breeder farm will commence production of 110,000 day old chicks (DOCs) per week on the 29th May, 2016. It is expected to attain its full production capacity of 520,000 DOCs per week from November 2016.
He has designed a free training/empowerment programme for over 200 poultry out-growers at Akwa Prime Hatchery and provision of 1000 day old chicks start up pack to each of the qualified participants at the end of the training.
For Information and details, visit the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Akwa Ibom State today
With these few points of mine, I hope you are convinced that Governor Udom Emmanuel is Working in the area of Agriculture.