The Akwa Ibom Chapter of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has acquired about 20,000 acres of land at Use Nten Community in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area for three years farming as its contributions towards achievingfood sufficiency in the state.
The state chairman of the Association, Prince Bassey Inwang, who made the disclosure during the thanksgiving service and dedication of the 2022 farming year unto God at Church of Jesus Christ, Afaha Offot, Uyo, recently said more than three acres of the land were cultivated with cassava last year.
Inwang, flanked by his wife, Kate and members of his executive committee, solicited the cooperation of farmers in the cultivation of the remaining acres of land with cassava and vegetable crops in the farm this year.
He spoke of plans by his organization to train many of his members on modern farming techniques this month for greater productivity to be recorded in agricultural production in the state.
His words: “We are planning another phase of training our members on modern farming techniques that will take effect this month of March in the state.
“We are also moving to sensitize Akwa Ibom people to embrace agriculture as a business. We intend to extend the practice of agriculture to public primary schools in the state with effect from April this year to enable our professionals to impart useful knowledge on agriculture to the young children,” he added.
Inwang recalled with happiness that AFAN, under his leadership, has developed a strong synergy with the state government that has made it possible for the floating of Ibom Fadama Micro Finance Bank in the interest of farmers, the provision of interest-free loans and farm inputs to farmers in the state.
AFAN, he said, has been integrated into the governance of the present administration more than what was the case before, noting that farmers are now enjoying government intervention, especially in the provision of yam seedlings; fingerlings; cocoa seedlings; oil palm seedlings; coconut seedlings; maize and rice seedlings for cultivation, aimed at ensuring food security in the state.
The AFAN chairman posited that the introduction of AUDA-NEPAD Agricultural Stakeholders programme would make it possible for more than 20,000 Akwa Ibom farmers to benefit from the scheme in the state.
He appreciated Governor Udom Emmanuel for giving priority attention to the growth and development of agriculture and the commissioner for agriculture, Dr Glory Edet, for ensuring effective interpretation of the state government’s agricultural policy for the benefit of farmers.
Inwang declared the commitment of farmers to cooperate with the state government in the area of agricultural production for the greater benefit of the people and thegovernment in addition to assuring that his members would cooperate with the administration of Governor Emmanuel-led administration to ensure the success of his completion agenda in the state.
He used the occasion to present the church’s preacher, Idongesit Ekpo, with a tin of improved tomato and okro seedlings as well as a yam tuber for cultivation this farming year.
The gesture, Inwang, said was a demonstration of his members total commitment to farming and agricultural production in the state.
The minister of God, Idongesit Ekpo, in a sermon on the theme, “God is Able,” urged farmers to always have implicit faith in God as they march into the 2022 farming year for their yield to be bountiful during harvest.
Ekpo, who drew his text from the book of Matthew chapter 9 verse 27, said God was able to heal the land and protect crops against any form of insect attacks for farmers to record bumper harvest this year.
The preacher said God has the capacity to raise farmers from dust to glory and protect them against any form of accident in their respective farms based on their commitment to agricultural production in the state.
He wished the leadership and membership of AFAN in the state well and prayed God to reward their labour with greater success and protect them against sustaining injury throughout the 2022 farming year.