The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA),Abuja in partnership with the Akwa Ibom government have provided succour to poultry farmers in the state who were affected by 2020 flood disaster.
The Akwa Ibom victims of the year 2020 flood disaster were each provided with five bags of poultry feeds; 30 number of four weeks old brooded broiler birds; antibiotics and other essential inputs on the occasion.
The commissioner for agriculture, Dr Offiong Offor, while flagging off the distribution exercise on-behalf of the Federal Government at the open field of the Ministry of Agriculture headquarters in Uyo, said the event was part of the present administration’s commitment to support farmers to record increased food production.
According to Offor, food ranked first among the three basic needs of man, followed by shelter and clothing, explaining that the importance of food to human existence cannot be overemphasized.
While appreciating Gov Udom Emmanuel for giving approval for the distribution exercise to take place in the state, the commissioner applauded the outstanding achievements so far recorded in agriculture and other sectors of the state’seconomy.
She lauded the collaboration of Governor Emmanuel and NEMA officials in working hard towards alleviating the sufferings of poultry farmers who were impacted negatively during the year 2020 flood disaster which, she said, could not be separated from our daily life.
Offor noted with delight that government’s gesture would go a long way in mitigating the negative impact of the natural disaster as well as encourage poultry farmers in the state to improve upon their farms for greater productivity.
Describing agriculture as a very important sector that contributes to the growth of the economy, she said this informed the governor’s decision to give agriculture very high premium, through the provision of interest-free loans and the distribution of farm inputs to farmers for the purpose of ensuring food sufficiency.
The commissioner was optimistic that the distributedBrooded Broiler Birds, feeds and other inputs, when properly harnessed, would not only multiply poultry production but would as well provide the required protein for the Akwa Ibompublic to live a strong and healthy life.
The permanent secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Mary Ukoette Bassey, in her introductory remarks, appreciated Governor Emmanuel for giving agriculture its rightful place in his completion agenda and for taking necessary steps to support all categories of farmers in the state.
Bassey advised the benefitting farmers not to sell the inputs that were given to them but to use it for the purpose of improving agricultural production in the state, assuring that amonitoring team will be visiting their farms to assess progress.
The director-general of NEMA, Mr. Mustapha Ahmed, explained that the distribution exercise was the outcome of an assessment and verification exercise that were carried out by them and the officials of the Ministry of Agriculture on the farmers who were affected by the year 2020 flood disaster.
Ahmed, represented by Mr. GodwinTepikor, posited that the provision of succour to poultry farmers through the distribution of poultry feeds, broiler birds and other inputs,were meant to complement similar gesture by his Ministry to other categories of farmers who were equally affected by natural disaster in the state.
He thanked Governor Emmanuel for giving priority attention to agriculture and the officials of the state Ministry of Agriculture for the warm reception accorded them to ensure a rancour-free distribution of the farm inputs to poultry farmers in the state.
The director-general also appreciated the orderly manner members of the Akwa Ibom poultry farmers Association (AKPFA) conducted themselves to ensure peaceful distribution exercise in the state, expressing optimism that they would make optimal use of the farm inputs given to them for government objectives to be realized.
The director, Animal Husbandry, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Aniefiok Isong, in his goodwill message on the occasion, thanked the state government for closing ranks with the management of NEMA to provide poultry farmers with the relief materials to ameliorate their suffering.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr. Aniefiok Ndem, while responding on-behalf of others, appreciated Governor Emmanuel and the Federal Government for using NEMA to provide them with farm inputs to ameliorate their sufferings as a result of the year 2020 flood disaster, assuring that the objectives of the distribution exercise would be achieved by poultry farmers in the state.
In attendance at the event were the state supervisor of NEMA, Mr Damian Egwu; State coordinator, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Uyobong Uko; and the director of agriculture in the Ministry, Mr. Solomon Joe, among others.