Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has lauded the Federal Government’s decision to break new grounds in the development of agriculture to ensure food security, availability of raw materials for agro-based industries and guarantee sustainable development in the country.
Governor Emmanuel made the commendation at his office, Government House Uyo, while exchanging views with the Participants of the Senior Executive Course Batch 39, 2017 Study Group of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies kuru, currently on a study tour of the state.
He observed that no nation can grow without a breakthrough in the agricultural sector to conquer hunger and provide raw materials for industries saying “if you check all over the world, there’s no developed nation that has not conquered anything that comes from the soil.”
The Governor noted that agriculture was the mainstay of the country’s economy before the discovery of crude oil, and particularly applauded the diversification programme of the federal government to boost agriculture and make it a revenue earner for the country.
His words : “Let me also appreciate the present administration for the efforts made so far in agriculture. If we had done this like in the past twenty five years, by now we would have returned to the good old days. There’s much emphasis now on people going back to the farm to see what can be produced.”
He said the study tour, which is anchored on the theme: “Science, Technology, Innovation in the Development of Agriculture and Agro-Allied Industries in Nigeria,” is responding to the need of the country which requires a breathrough in agriculture through researches to achieve increase yield and described the participants as “think-tank and incubators of policies and ideas that would address the nation’s challenges and guarantee food sufficiency.”
“.. Anywhere in the world, think tanks have been incubators of policies and strategies. With this Institution, Nigeria would achieve a whole lot”
The Governor remarked. Governor Emmanuel expressed optimism that the study would reverse the downward tilt in agriculture production and launch the country back to it good old days when the country was rated number four in the production of cocoa as well as the world producer of groundnut, palm Oil and other agricultural products.
He stated that his administration has recorded significant strides in agriculture through the cultivation of improved variety of cocoa, cassava, maize, even as it has acquired twenty six thousand hectares of land for cultivation of Cocoa.
Mr Emmanuel announced plans to establish Green houses where cucumber and other vegetables would be cultivated, adding that a ranch to accommodate about 2000 herds of cattle is being established in Uruan Local Government Area of the state to feed the people with fresh milk.
Earlier, the team leader, Brigadier General Anlaini Daniel Chinoko, informed the Governor that the Batch 39 Group 5 was in the state on Presidential assignment to carry out an unbiased study of the agricultural sector of the state with a view to providing input that would aid in its development.
He explained that the institute has divided participants into groups to tour the country, Africa, Europe, America and Asia, and that recommendations of the participants which would be submitted to the Presidency will form a blueprint for the development of agricultural sector of the country.
The team leader used the occasion to invite Governor Emmanuel to the final presentation of the recommendations of the team which would take place at the institute and particularly expressed appreciation to the state government for the hospitality given to the team in the state.
Highpoint of the visit, which was witnessed by the Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo; Secretary to the State Government, Sir Etekamba Umoren; Head of Service, members of the State Executive Council and Permanent Secretaries, was the exchange of souvenirs by Governor Udom Emmanuel and the team leader, Brig. Gen. Chinoko.