The commissioner for agriculture has stated that the fertile state of the soil enhances maximal use of farm inputs.
Dr. Offiong Offor, accompanied by the permanent secretary, Mrs. Mary Ukoette Bassey and directors in the Ministry, made this known during a training session Thursday, organised for extension agents and farmers across the State, at Akwa Ibom Agricultural Development Programme (AKADEP), Conference Hall.
Offor said the soil provides the base for plants to grow, therefore it was very important to ascertain the state of the soil, at every point in time, so that when crops are grown, resources will not be wasted.
The commissioner reasoned that state of the soil is a determinant to the nature of output a farmer would produce in the farm, hence adequate attention must be given to the soil components.
While applauding Gov Udom Emmanuel for the huge investments in the agricultural sector, the commissioner said government efforts were very visible as Akwa Ibom is at the top-most level of food production.
Offor appreciated the Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS) for the initiative of training and distribution of Soil Test Kits to farmers, adding that the exercise is complementing Governor Emmanuel’s food sufficiency agenda in the state.
“The place of knowledge cannot be underestimated. I trust that the participants will make optimal use of the workshop, since the more we know the better we practice farming”, the commissioner declared.
She called on beneficiaries of the Soil Test Kits to use the equipment in assisting other farmers within their environs, in order to enhance agricultural production and to visit AKADEP office for enquiry or clarity on any issue in agriculture.
Earlier, the programme manager of AKADEP, Mr. Emah Ekanem, had commended the commissioner for always supporting programmes conducted in the state, to be of immense benefit to farmers.
Emah disclosed that the session was designed to train extension agents and farmers who would step-down the knowledge to other farmers in the state.
Representative to NISS and former commissioner for agriculture in the state, Professor Trenchard Ibia, revealed that Akwa Ibom is the first state to undertake the step-down training agreed on last month during a soft training for commissioners for agriculture and that of environment as well as programme managers in the six South-South States of Nigeria.
Ibia, who lauded Office Cheribien De Phosphate (OCP), Africa,for donating the Soil Test Kits, added that the gesture was the mandate of NISS aimed at successfully maintaining the soil resources of Nigeria.
High point of the event was a practical session and distribution of Soil Test Kits to participants by the commissioner for agriculture.