• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Akwa Ibom moves to partner entrepreneurs of food security

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Akwa Ibom State Government has pledged partnership with entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector as part of efforts to boost food production and ensure food security.

Governor Umo Eno made the pledge when he visited a Lavender farms, a privately-run large scale farm in Afaha, Etok, Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of the State.

Governor Eno directed that Enobong Uwah, the Secretary to the State Government and Commissioner for Agriculture, Offiong Offor, should liaise with the farm management to ensure partnership to develop the farm, just as the governor announced a donation of utility vehicle to aid the farm’s logistics.

Read also: Cheap credit, policy consistency needed to boost food production – Obasanjo

The governor said he was proud of the Ikono-born managing director of the farm, Ubong Inyang, stressing that his venture into agriculture is in line with the government’s ARISE Agenda.

He commended Ubong’s dedication to the running of the massive integrated farm venture and not depending on parents’ achievements, despite his rich family background.

He called on other youths in the State and beyond to emulate such, as he reaffirmed Government’s commitment to creating a conducive environment for productive ventures to thrive in the State.

“I feel extremely proud of him. These are the kind of people I want to support. It is not just enough to blame Government, start something; there is no one that would not love to support this kind of effort.

“We are already looking for areas we can support him to scale up. He (the managing director) has already said that he wants to scale up. That is why I came here with the Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture and SSG.

“As we conclude this inspection, we have observed that what he lacks now is a farm vehicle. So to encourage him beyond the partnership that we want to have, I am requesting the SSG to release one farm vehicle for him immediately to mark our visit”, he added.

In expression of gratitude, Inyang said he was pleasantly surprised and elated to have the governor pay a visit to his farm.

He acknowledged the push by the Umo Eno-led Government to encourage farming and entrepreneurship, as well as the enabling atmosphere being maintained in the State as strong inspiration for him.

Inyang expressed optimism that with Government’s support, he is sure to expand his farm’s operations, while urging other Akwa Ibom youths to see agriculture as a lucrative venture.

Most of the food requirements in Akwa Ibom are sourced from other States like Cross River, Delta, Edo, Benue, which provide the bulk of staple foods, including yam and garri while the grains like rice and wheat are gotten from the rice producing regions of the Country.

Read also: NESG calls for strengthened national food security response to address food crisis

With a population of over six million people, Akwa Ibom State has faced food scarcity which has seen the price of basic food items doubling in recent months.

The inauguration of the bulk food purchase agency by the State Government is seen as a step to address the acute food shortages but analysts say long term measures needed to be adopted to check the perennial food crisis.