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 the new l Cocoa planting season is in line with the determination of Governor Udom Emmanuel to boost Agriculture, food security and food sufficiency for the people of the state.
The Commmissioner for Agriculture and Women Affairs, Dr. Glory Edet, made the presentation Tuesday on behalf of Governor Udom Emmanuel at the Odoro Ikpe, Ini LGA Cocoa nursery farm.
Dr. Glory Edet who said Governor Emmanuel’s support to cocoa farming has made the state the largest cocoa producing state in Nigeria noted “Beyond ensuring abundance in Cocoa production in the state, Akwa Ibom now has the best variety of Cocoa in the country.
“The Governor has ensured that agro chemicals are also distributed to the farmers to wade off 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.
The State Chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, ALFAN, Otoinwang Bassey Inyang, in a goodwill message thanked the Governor for the consistent support to farmers, adding that his tenure has witnessed the best intervention in the growth of Agriculture business in the state.
The Chairman of Ini local government, Mr Isreal Idaisin thanked Governor Emmanuel for appointment of their daughter as Commissioner in the Ministry of Agriculture and Women Affairs, maintaining that it was a plus to the status of the area as the food basket of the state.
He thanked the state for the 14km Ikpe Ikot Nkon -Obotme- Arochukwu Road, the Cocoa Fermentation Factory and other infrastructure in the area.
In their seperate 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 Governor Emmanuel has proved himself a promise keeper by providing all the inputs he promised farmers in the state.