No less than four acres of land has been acquired by the leadership of Akwa Ibom Youth for Agriculture and Food Sufficiency Initiatives (AKYFAFS) at Mbiakong Community in Uruan Local Government Area for the cultivation of tomatoes and onion.
The land leasing agreement was reached at the weekend between the host Mbiakong community and the Land Acquisition Committee of the Association with the investment of N130,000 only in the project execution for three years duration.
The director of Agricultural Project and Production for the organization, Prince Offiong Ben, told Midweek PioneerAgric in a telephone interview that the acquired land would be used for the cultivation of tomatoes and onion by his members.
Ben posited that commercial cultivation of the vegetable crops on the farmland would surely kick-start this year’sfarming season.
He explained that the reason for tomatoes and onions cultivation was because they are short term crops that could easily be cultivated and which could guarantee a huge profit.
Tomatoes and onions, he said, are largely consumed by the public, adding that there is a ready market for the vegetable crops in the state.
His words: “Tomatoes and onion are short-term crops that can be easily cultivated and you make money and are largely consumed by the public. There is a ready market for tomatoes and onion anywhere in the state.”
The Land Acquisition Committee members, on their part,said they were proud to announce to their esteemed members on their platform that arrangements have been concluded for the payment of rent for the four acres of land at Mbiakong in Uruan Local Government Area last Saturday.
The land was said to have been acquired for three years duration, noting that the leasing agreement was ready for endorsement by the parties concerned.
Ben explained further that the cultivation of tomatoes and onion would enable them to proof to the Akwa Ibom people that our land was fertile and favourable for the cultivation of the vegetable crops in the state.
According to him, the commissioner for agriculture, Dr Glory Edet, has been formerly intimated on the acquisition of the land by his organization for the farming project.
Ben hinted that approval for the release of a tractor to them for early preparation of land to facilitate the cultivation of the crops within this farming season by their members has been effected by the commissioner for agriculture.
He said his group decided to invest in tomatoes and onion production for them to make profit and as well contribute their quota towards food sufficiency in the state.
The director of agricultural project and production assured that efforts were being intensified by the Land Acquisition Committee to search for and acquire more acres of land within the local government area for the cultivation of cassava and yam crops within the farming year.
Said he: “We are still negotiating with landlords within UruanLocal Government Area for the acquisition of more acres of land for the cultivation of cassava and yam by our members this farming season.”
He declared the commitment of his members to cooperate with the state government towards the realization of food sufficiency in the state.