Who would have believed few years ago that Akwa Ibom could suddenly be a state with not one, not two, but three standard rice mills? Governor Udom Emmanuel is not one who makes noise about his projects. He allows those developments to echo his strides.

A visit to Ibiono Ibom local government area shows that Akwa Ibom is gradually realising that vision, the vision by a Governor of ensuring that the state produces 85 percent of staple food it consumes.

Behold the Ibom Golden Rice fields in Ikot Esen/Utit Obio about 7 kilometers from the council headquarters in Okoita. The rice field is complimented by yet another rice processing mill located at Utit Obio community both in Ibiono Ibom local government area. This public-private initiative between Akwa Ibom State government and Rice Farmers in Ibiono-Ibom has seen the government equip the farmers with cultivation tools, improved rice seedlings, as well as ensure the workability of the Rice Processing Mill, which the state recently supplied with a standard power supply plant.

According to the Chairman, Ibiono Ibom Rice Farmers Association, Mr. Emmanuel Usua, rice is harvested after a period of between 3 and 4 months and with the efforts of government, which included complete clearing of the land for the farmers, the harvest is bound to be bountiful.

Usua who is also the President of Ibiono Ibom Millers Multi Purpose Cooperative Society, explained that during the total lockdown in the state, Ibom Golden Rice, which had earlier in December complemented the efforts of the two other rice mills, came in handy with rice consumed during the yuletide. The Ibiono Ibom rice also enabled Governor Udom Emmanuel to deliver thousands of bags of rice to over 3000 villages in the state, as well as other ethnic nationals and interest groups.

The newly installed rice mill is managed by the Ibiono Ibom Rice Millers Cooperative Society and has a capacity to produce 1.5 tonnes of rice per hour.

©Essien Ndueso

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