UDOM EMMANUEL APPLAUDED, AS ENUMERATION OF FARMERS COMMENCES
The Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has been applauded for his initiative in building accurate databank of farmers in Akwa Ibom State to drive investments in agriculture in line with the completion agenda of the administration. Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture and Women Affairs, Dr. Glory Edet made the commendation on Tuesday May 19, during the training of enumeration supervisors in Uyo.
Declaring open the occasion, Dr. Glory Edet, applauded the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for his visionary leadership and foresight in expanding investment in agriculture for food sufficiency and food security for the state. She stated that out of passion and commitment to the welfare of farmers, the governor approved interest-free loan to farmers in the state. A feat, she said, no other state in the federation has achieved, and that the palliatives distributed to the rural area during the lockdown were foods grown in Always Ibom State.
Dr. Edet stated that the enumeration exercise which commences next week, would be a big boost to attracting more investments into the state and also enabling government directly support farmers. She encouraged the supervisors, drawn mostly from Akwa Ibom Agricultural Development Programme (AKADEP), to ensure that accurate data of farmers were obtained, adding: “This enumeration is very important because when investors come to the state, the first thing they require is data of all crops and the volume in order to determine their comparative advantages.” Data, she stressed, will enhance productivity and help government make better decisions regarding investment in the sector. She urged the supervisors to maintain high ethics in order to get quality data and warned against politicizing the programme.
In his remarks, the Executive Director, Agricultural Investments, Pastor Umo Eno, expressed gratitude to the governor of Akwa Ibom State for the enumeration exercise. The training, he noted, was to refresh the knowledge of participants on the nature of data and information required from farmers in the state, which, according to him, will enable government and investors make better investment decisions and help farmers improve productivity.
Speaking also at the occasion, the Chairman, Technical Committee on Agriculture and Food Sufficiency, Professor Edet Udoh said, “The enumeration exercise will drive the agricultural development agenda of government and contribute to the per capita income of the participants in the sector such as farmers, processors and marketer and engineer the structural change in how things are done.”
To achieve the forgoing, he stressed that accurate and quality data must be made available in the state. “For you to achieve this, you must the numbers of farmers you have in the state, the type of enterprises involved and what are the basic information basic information you need on the farmers and their entire households. We have not been so fortunate to have this, but the governor has found it necessary that we should at least have basic information about the farmers in the state and this is the right thing to do. At the end of the day when we have this enumeration, we can say, this number of farmers are involved in livestock, crops and all others. It will be easy to plan with them.”
The training programme organized by Directorate of Agricultural Investments, Akwa Ibom Investment Corporation in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture and Women Affairs, Technical Committee on Agriculture and Food Sufficiency with El Kanis and Partners as technical consultant, was to acquaint the supervisors the enumeration protocols and field procedures.
The enumeration technical consultant, Engr. Ekanikpong Ben, assured that the project will, among others, establish average farm baseline production; reduce import of agricultural products to the state; promote sustainability in agricultural development programmes; minimize supply chain cost and enhance profitability and market value of local produce.
Meanwhile, all enumerators deployed from Akwa Ibom Agricultural Development Programme, AKADEP, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN and other government agencies will commence the filed data collection next week after local government area based training at the weekend.