Akwa Ibom State Government has distributed 500,000 cocoa seedlings and other agro-based farming inputs to Cocoa farmers in the state.
The exercise which marks the flag-off of this year’s Cocoa planting season is in line with the determination of the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel to boost Agriculture towards ensuring food security and sufficiency for the people of the state.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Women Affairs, Dr. Glory Edet, made the presentation today, Tuesday 16th June, 2020 on behalf of Governor Udom Emmanuel at the Odoro Ikpe, Ini LGA Cocoa nursery farm.
Dr. Glory Edet who said Governor Udom Emmanuel was poised at ensuring abundance in Cocoa production in the state disclosed that, Akwa Ibom has the best variety of Cocoa in Nigeria coupled with arable land favorable for cocoa production which is a major cash crop in the country and indeed globally.
She said as a measure towards boosting Cocoa production in the state, the Governor has flagged – off the cocoa seedling distribution in this month of June, which is the best planting season for cocoa adding that agro chemicals are also distributed to the farmers to ward of pests while fertilizers and sprayers have also been provided to the cocoa farmers to increase their yields.
At the event were Stakeholders in the Agricultural sector of the state and Cocoa farming in particular including: the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. John Markson, the Director of Agriculture, Mr. Emmanuel Akpan the Supervisor for Agriculture in Ini LGA, Prince Mike Ekanem and the State Chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, ALFAN, Otoinwang Bassey Inyang who presented a goodwill message.
In their separate reactions, the Village head of Ikpe Ikot Nkon, Eteidung Ndueso Bassey Udowo, and two cocoa farmers, Chief Monday Solomon Udoh from Ikoi Eben Obon and Mrs. Uduak Aniekan Akpan from Odoro Ikpe, all of Ini LGA, expressed appreciation to Governor Udom Emmanuel for his love and interest in Cocoa farmers as demonstrated in the provision of free improved cocoa seedlings and farming inputs to them.
In a related development, the President of Ekemini Co-operative Cassava farm in Odoro Ikpe, Ini LGA, Elder ObongAnwan Idara Ekpe, has expressed gratitude to Governor Udom Emmanuel on behalf of the women of the Ekemini Cooperative Society for the provision of improved cassava cuttings and other farming inputs for the women to boost their cassava cultivation.
ObongAnwan Idara Ekpe who led the State Government Information Team this morning round the 18 hectares of Cassava plantation cultivated by the Ekemini Cooperative Cassava farmers said, the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has proved himself as a promise keeping Governor by providing all the inputs he promised farmers in the state towards giving them a means of livelihood through farming and also ensuring availability of food for the teeming people of Ini LGA and indeed Akwa Ibom State.
The State Government Information Management Team led by the Director of Information, Akparawa James Edet and the Secretary of the team, Mr. Aniekeme Finbarr, had in attendance, the Director of Public Relations, Ministry of Information, Mrs. Grace Akpan, SA, ICT, Mr. Solomon Eyo, SA Research and Documentation, Mr. Essien Ndueso, SA Media, Revd Richard Peters, Asst Director, Ikot Ekpene zone of Ministry of Information, Mr. Aniekan Ukpong and the Assistant Chief Information Officer, Mr Idris Mabadeje.