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Akwa Ibom Govt Commits to Food Sufficiency, Security

… we’re focused on eliminating zero hunger, and poverty through agriculture – Offiong Offor

Mary Ekere, COOPA

Akwa Ibom State Government has reiterated its commitment to ensuring the elimination of zero hunger and zero poverty from the State – a cause to be championed through Agriculture as the mainstay and stimulant of the State’s economy.

The measures to achieve this, thereby, ensuring food sufficiency and security in the State were re-echoed on Monday, April 15, 2024, during the media convergence on the Arise Scorecard, season 1.0, themed, “Food Sufficiency and Security: the Intervention and Sustainability Strategy of Governor Umo Eno”, at the Ministry of Information, Uyo.

The Commissioner for Information, Barr Ini Ememobong said that it was necessary to stage the discussion so that the government’s activities are effectively communicated and disseminated to citizens promptly and repeatedly to keep the governed at par with policies and developmental trends of government.

The Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Offiong Offor who bared the administration’s policy on agriculture to achieve food sufficiency and security, improved nutrition, value chain development, and make agriculture the mainstay of the State’s economy, said the insightful merge of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Cooperatives has helped in improving food production especially, as groups will be reached out to effortlessly.

Other approaches adopted by the government according to the Commissioner are the utilization of lands provided by the Local Government Chairman for enhanced production and the construction of access roads for improved commercial activities.

“One of our projects – Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Projects, RAAMP is going to fix 486 roads in the State, mostly rural feeders roads to ease access into farms and transportation of farm produce by the farmers, reduce the prices of foods at farm gates prices.

“The Akwa Ibom COVID-19 Action Response Economy Stimulus, AK-CARES Programme is also another tool to implement food sufficiency. This is also an input support project where farmers are given support in input and assets. There is also the market development in AK-CARES which allows farmers to produce for the markets and also ensures that the people selling at the markets also have as much comfort as possible.

“There were also infrastructural developments beyond the market and grading of roads. The government is also setting up an equipment leasing site to enable access to farm equipment while access to grants and loans will be eased and availed through Ibom FADAMA. There will also be an off-take for young people too who should form a hub and obtain necessary information at Room 99, Ministry of Agriculture” she explained.

Also addressing newsmen, the Commissioner for Economic Development, Emem Bob said Governor Eno came prepared with a clear-cut economic blueprint as launched in the A.R.I.S.E. Agenda.

“The Governor has come up with several programs, one of which is the ‘food sufficiency and security program’. When you have enough food in the State, it will reduce the crime rate.

Speaking further on the AK-Cares intervention program, he explained that its focus is to alleviate poverty and provide financial aid to vulnerable members of society.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Bulk Purchase Agency, Rt. Hon Dan Akpan who recalled the objectives of the scheme informed that Monitoring and Evaluation Teams have been set up, one for each of the three Senatorial Districts in the State, to track the progress of the food distribution, while stringent measures are being put in place to ensure the compliance of those handling the distribution.

He however, called on Akwa Ibomites to pray for the success of the initiative rather than condemn it.

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