Governor Emmanuel Flags Off 100 Hectares Cassava Plantation FarmThursday, April 27th, 2017 | News
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has promised that his government is committed to ensuring total food security in the state.
The Governor who stated this at the flag off of the Family Empowerment and Youth Re-Orientation Path Initiative’s(FEYReP) Improved Cassava Stem Plantation in Okobo local government area, said he was putting in place a framework that will ensure that “we can actually turn around and feed ourselves.”
At the event held at the Ikono -Offi/Nsie community, Okobo, Mr Emmanuel said Agriculture is the quickest and highest employer of labour, positing that a lot of industries will thrive where there are raw materials.
He enumerated some of the end products of cassava to include flour, garri, ethanol and added that “there is no country in the world building industries without thinking of raw materials.”
He said apart from cassava production, his administration is also establishing a ranch in Uruan that will accommodate about 2000 heads of cattle from Mexico.
He said that the process of acquiring the cattles from Mexico is underway and his government will stop at nothing to ensure there is fresh milk for Akwa Ibom people, as against evaporated milk.
Governor Emmanuel disclosed that fresh milk was more nutritious and will enhance good health and growth among the young people in the state, adding that consultants are working hard to get the projects kick started so that Akwa Ibom people can access fresh milk as obtained in developed countries.
He commended his wife Mrs Martha Emmanuel who is the progenitor of FEYReP for taking the initiative to ensure availability of Garri for the populace, and announced his administration’s complete support to the project.
“I learnt that they(FEYReP) are going to plant corn as well, recently I have imported thousands of tons of rich corn seeds and we are distributing it free, the Governor added.
On the community’s request for government intervention in their two schools and an access road, the Governor directed the interministerial direct labour committee and the Commissioner for Works respectively to promptly intervene.
He recounted that he had kept his promise of providing the Okobo community with light after several years, by linking them to the national grid and assured that Okobo remains very dear to his heart.
Earlier the Wife of the Governor, Mrs Emmanuel said that the project was in line with her husband’s initiative of returning people to the farm and enhancing food sufficiency in the state.
She thanked the Ikono -Offi/Nsie community for providing the land for the project and assured that with the project, the price of garri in the state will crash substantially.
“I use this FEYReP farm as a challenge to everyone to go back to farming,” and explained that the farm which is over hundred hectares of land has employed over 100 jobless people.
Mrs Emmanuel who thanked the village head, a community leader Chief Jerry Okpo, elders, youths of the community for their support and cooperation, assured them that several benefits will be accumulated in the community from the project.
Explaining the initiative, the consultant and former commissioner for Agriculture Dr Matthew Nathan Ekaette said the project is a cassava model farm and will provide a link not only to the kitchen, but between the farm and the industry.
He explained that those engaged where professionally trained on effective planting and productivity as well as weed control, adding that the project was segmented in two seasons with 24 hectares for the wet season and 72 hectares for the dry season.
While calling on other organisations and individuals to emulate the lofty ideals of FEYReP, he maintained that the best way to empower and re-orientate the people in an agrarian economy is through Agriculture.
In their separate messages, the transition chairman, Ubuo Effiong Ubuo, community leader Jerry Okpo, a woman leader Rebecca Jerome and youth leader Asuquo Nduonyi all commended the governor for personally visiting the area on the occasion, and for his show of love to Okobo.
Chief Okpo appealed for the intervention of the government on the two secondary schools in Offi and Nsie communities as well as the access road to the schools.