A One-Day Sensitization of Agricultural Stakeholders On NG-Cares Result Area 2, Akwa Ibom, with participants drawn from the 31 local government areas, has been successfully rounded off in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital.
The execution of the World Bank-assisted agricultural scheme, expected to commence in the state within the first quarter of this farming year, in liaison with the federal and state governments, would cover cassava, rice, tomato, poultry, piggery, goat production and Aquaculture.
The commissioner for agriculture, Dr Glory Edet, who stated this while addressing the participants, said it could not have been possible for the agricultural stakeholders to benefit from the project execution but for the cooperation of Gov Udom Emmanuel, making Akwa Ibom one of the very few states in Nigeria where the laudable agricultural project is undergoingimplementation.
Edet applauded Governor Emmanuel for doing well in the development and growth of agriculture, being the reason for attracting the interest of the World Bank in the project implementation beyond 2022 farming year in the state.
Her words: “World Bank don’t just come and throw away their money into any project. We have to follow up their procedures before benefiting from the project implementation. What really concerned us in agriculture has to do with increased food production.”
The commissioner said the programme would encourage the provision of essential farm inputs, being the basic tool for farmers to succeed in food production, in addition to the grading of rural roads in the first phase to facilitate easy evacuation of agricultural produce to urban centers for patronage.
Edet noted with delight that participants were real and practicing farmers committed to increased food production, noting that as real farmers, they would be able to make optimal application of farm inputs to be given them for the realization of the objectives of the scheme.
She remarked that inspection teams were being involved to regularly inspect farms to ensure farm inputs to be given to farmers are put to use for the scheme to be successful in the state.
The scheme, the commissioner said, would encourage the repairs of processing mills and as well encourage the upgrading of wet markets and solicited the cooperation of agricultural stakeholders to enable the World Bank to assist in the development of other projects that would impact positively on the economy of the state.
The state project coordinator of FADAMA III Financing, Mr Richard Sam, appreciated the commissioner for agriculture for working tirelessly to ensure that the programme, which was conceived in 2020 with the World Bank in liaison with the federal and state governments, become implementable in the state.
He explained that the programme objective was to protect the livelihood and food security of the poor and vulnerable families as well as facilitate the recovery of local economic activities in all the participating states across the country.
The programme, Sam said, was aimed at ameliorating the effects of Covid-19 pandemic through optimal engagement of farmers for the realization of increased food production in the state.
He noted that FADAMA III financing was committed to ensuring that the policy thrust of the state government on agriculture is realizable in the state.
The head, State Cares Coordination Unit, Mrs Enobong Okpokpong, who was represented by Mrs Esther Ukpe, said the programme was aimed at alleviating the negative impact of Covid-19 pandemic through active engagement of stakeholders in agricultural production.
Okpokpong urged participants to put in their best for the objectives of the programme implementation to be realized in the state.
Goodwill messages were received from stakeholders including the state chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Prince Bassey Inwang, the management of Ibom FADAMA Micro Finance Bank Limited and the representative of the Forum of Supervisors of Agriculture.