Government support to local farmers in Akwa Ibom aimed at boosting the production of crops that will feed the citizenry in the state will remain a top priority of the government, Governor Udom Emmanuel has assured. The Governor stated this on Tuesday during an unscheduled visit to the Green House Farm along Airport Road, Uyo, shortly after his arrival from official engagement outside the state.
Governor Emmanuel while inspecting the onions plantation, tomatoes and pepper farms, expressed satisfaction with the State Ministry of Agriculture for successfully cultivation of onions which he said is not very common within the region, noting that the cultivation of onions in the state will put an end to its dependence in the market, and pledged to support farmers cultivate and increase the supply of vegetable and staple food in the state.
Hear him, “I am more excited with the onions plantation, I think this is the same thing people taught is rocket science because we didn’t even try, we taught probably this could not be done and look at it now within three to four months we are harvesting onions it is perfect, it’s really excellent, I only inspected the tomatoes and the pepper farm to actually assess the level of harvest and be sure that as it is being harvested the nursery is in tune to replant”.
“Within the week I am going to inspect rice, cassava all staple food, so we will use this end of quarter to look at because this is planting season for the local farmers. We can also provide input for local farmers as government to make sure we are able to feed our people”, he stated.
According to the Governor, the state took advantage of the cut in supply of onions into the state which necessitated the Ministry of Agriculture to swing into onions cultivation, reiterating his administration’s determination to produce 80 percent of local food consumption before leaving office in May 2023, noting that it was in fulfillment of this vision that inspired his government to venture into the planting of onions inside the Green house and in other locations within the state.
“We have given an order to clear more hectares and plant more, so I am sure by June we should harvest a lot of onions, pepper and other vegetables so that we can feed the people”, he assured.
He commended farmers rearing aquatic animals to meet the demands in the state and beyond and encouraged all Akwa Ibom people to own a farm.
Speaking with Government House Correspondents, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Glory Edet, thanked the Governor for embarking on the inspection at the Onions plantation and Green House Farm, describing him as an Agric-friendly governor whose vision in Agriculture has given the state food sufficiency.
Dr Edet assured that the state is committed towards the cultivation of crops, vegetables and staple foods, adding that with the directive from the governor to increase the rate of cultivation, there will be food security and employment for the people.
She stated that the state has trained farmers on cultivation of various crops and vegetables especially onions to meet demands saying next year onions planting will cut across all parts of the state.
“The governor who has inspected the farm is happy and has directed us to do more, like the onions when we heard about the crisis in transporting onions into our state, the onions we cultivated in our Green House helped us, in Akwa Ibom did not feel the impact because we were fully prepared”, he declared.