The World Bank has declared its readiness to assist Akwa Ibom government to record greatness in the area of agriculture.
To this end, the World Bank would assist the state government in the provision of labour, agricultural infrastructure, and grading of rural roads to encourage easy access to many farm lands in the state.
In addition, it is to assist the state government in the areas of agricultural assets production, mitigating food loss and waste as well as upgrading wet markets to function optimally in the state.
The commissioner for agriculture, Dr Glory Edet, made the disclosure during a special meeting with facilitators, desk officers and project implementation unit staff on AK-Cares implementation project, which took place at the conference hall of the Akwa Ibom Agricultural Development Programme (AKADEP), Uyo.
Edet told participants that the briefing could not have been possible but for the World Bank’s approval for the commencement of the AK-Cares programme implementation in no distant future in the state.
The agric commissioner assured that arrangements have been concluded to hold capacity development workshop with the facilitators on what is expected of them in the field.
She advised the facilitators of the project implementation to take the proposed training session very serious, advising them to ask questions when in doubt since those to be found wanting on appraisal in the field would be replaced with serious minded persons to help drive the project to a logical conclusion in the interest of all and sundry.
The commissioner congratulated the facilitators on their selection to participate in the programme implementation, assuring them that they would be issued appointment letters where monthly allowances would be paid directly into their bank accounts
She informed them that they would be posted to nearby local government areas, based on their places of residence and origin to enable them interact with the rural dwellers in theirlocal dialect for them to understand.
She posited that their focus would be on the agricultural sector, covering the provision of farm inputs and rendering of essential services to farmers across the state.
Edet remarked that Akwa Ibom has been recognized as one of the states in Nigeria where the governor has given immense support to farmers, being the reason international donor agencies decided to identify with the state.
She noted that the AK-Cares programme, aimed at mitigating the adverse effects of Covid-19 pandemic on individuals, households and businesses, has its Steering Committee members, drawn from the Ministries of Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport; Agriculture; Trade and Investment; Environment and Solid Minerals; Power and Petroleum Resources as well as Women Affairs and Social Welfare.
She commended Governor Emmanuel for assisting and facilitating the approval of the AK-Cares Programme implementation in the state.
The state project coordinator Fadama III Additional Financing, Mr. Richard Sam, remarked that the AK-Cares activity started in 2020, with a lot of documentations to access approval, and expressed delight that Akwa Ibom has been one of the states in the country selected for the programme implementation.
Sam appreciated Dr. Edet for approving the meeting, Project Implementation Unit staff and management of AKADEP for cooperating with the state government to achieve the feat.
The technical officer, Ak-Cares programme, Mr. Samuel Uyie, appreciated the efforts of the commissioner for agriculture towards ensuring that Akwa Ibom secured approval for the project to take off in the state.
Uyie assured the commissioner that his team will not let the state government down in the discharge of their duties in the field.