In an avowed determination to enhance food sufficiency through robust agricultural development, Akwa Ibom State Government has concluded plans to establish greenhouses in each of the 31 Local Government Areas of the State.
The State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, announced this when he embarked on an unscheduled inspection of the State Government’s Model Greenhouse, near the Victor Attah International Airport, Uyo .
He said : “I decided to embark on an unexpected visit tom the Greenhouse in order to see things for myself. I think this is a fantastic place. We can actually replicate this in all the Local Government Areas, or at least all the federal constituencies, so that we would have enough food to feed our people. The initiative would drive the food -sufficiency which we seek to achieve as part of our completion agenda”.
Governor Emmanuel maintained that the state is endowed with fertile soil, favourable weather and adequate resources that enhance all season agriculture and urged the people to key into the all season farming campaign in the state ,saying that his administration’s resolve to ensure the production of 80% of staple food consumed in the state must be pursued vigorously.
He urged the people not to panic following the recent hike in the price of rice arising from the temporary closure of border by federal government, assuring that rice produced in the state will be made available for the people at a pocket friendly price during the festive season.
“I heard that immediately the border was closed, prices of foodstuff moved up in the country. It shouldn’t be like that. We have a rice processing mill. While others are shouting about the cost of rice, we’ve also off taken a whole lot which we are going to make available to the masses in the festive season and at a reduced rate.
“I promised the people that before we leave office, 80% of what we consume must be produced in Akwa Ibom State. It is not only roads we will build, not only bridges, not just high-rise buildings and all the other infrastructure. These should go hand in hand with stomach infrastructure. A good leader must also look for what his people will eat”, Emmanuel stated.
He commended the Ministry of Agriculture and Women Affairs for driving the vision of food sufficiency by enhancing the cultivation of vegetables, tomatoes, cucumber, pepper and other crops that were before now considered impossible for planting in this part of the country.
The Commissioner of Agriculture and Women Affairs, Dr. Glory Edet, expressed appreciation to the Governor for the visionary leadership and passion for agricultural development.
Dr. Edet, who showed the Governor round the farm, noted that the greenhouse project has witnessed remarkable breakthrough, noting that the tomatoes are ready for harvest same with pepper and cucumber which are grown on fertile soil, assuring that buyers are readily available to buy off the produce.
“Out of the ten greenhouses here we have planted seven. The remaining three were left as fallow because cultivation is done sequentially but the nursery is ready. In the next two weeks we are going to transplant to the remaining three. This shows the passion our Governor has for agriculture”, she explained.