Akwa Ibom State Government says it has put in place proactive measures through Agro-rebirth programs to bring succour to the people, even as the world is going through food crisis.
Emmanuel made the assertion in Uyo on Tuesday at the 2022 World Food Day, hosted by the state’s Ministry of Agriculture, with the theme, “Leave no one behind”.
Represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, the Governor disclosed that before the global community adopted food safety as a talking point for world food day, the state had already introduced unique Akwa Ibom initiatives in food processing, mechanization and greater hygiene, adding that the state was on top of the game in food safety protocols.
Mr Emmanuel affirmed that the government has embarked on several remedial measures including the multi-billion naira IBB way flood control project spanning three local Government Areas of Uyo, Ibesikpo Asutan and Nsit Ibom, all within the farming belt of the state as a means of tackling the menace of flooding in farming communities.
He describes the World Food Day as a global vehicle for awareness creation about hunger, malnutrition and the need for sustainable food production, which he said was a critical sector in the state’s economy.
According to him, people across the world are struggling to cope with the aftermath of the Covid 19 pandemic, adding that, given the impact of armed conflicts, increasing threat of climate change, flooding and rising inflation in many large economies across the world, there was a need to build sustainability in food access to enable citizens have regular access to adequate nutritious food.
Governor Emmanuel stated that among the agro-rebirth programs, the green house initiative very strategic as it was aimed at mobilizing and raising a new generation of farmers. He said the Green house technology has enabled people to register strong participation in the cultivation of shrubs like tomatoes, onions, green pepper, etc.
He further disclosed that the Dakkada Global oil, Akwapalm project in Esit Eket, awaiting commissioning, is a vote for inclusiveness since it takes away the travail of the traditional oil palm production and consequently retain peasants in the state in productive agricultural activities.
“Indeed, here in Akwa Ibom state, all hands are on deck, and like the United Nations, the driving philosophy is ” Leave no one behind”
“Such inclusive and collective action across the countries of the world is what makes the World Food Day one of the most celebrated events in the United Nations calendar which stresses the need to ensure healthy diet”, he added.
While commending the Commissioner for Agriculture Dr Offiong Offor and her team for gathering people together for the event, he opined that without a doubt, the commemorative action will achieve it’s avowed objectives of leveraging on the production and consumption of safe foods whilst also ensuring that food is accessible to many people.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Offiong Offor in her remarks said, the World Food Day celebration was an annual gathering with Agriculture stakeholders observed over the world across member nations of the United Nations Organization to create awareness on strategies of ensuring access to safe and nutritious food for all which will promote good health and sustain life.
Offor commended the Governor Udom Emmanuel for his strides and passion for agriculture, adding that the state government has further proven it’s commitment by implementing it’s blueprints through various policies and programs ranging from sensitization, distribution of farm inputs, access to finance, capacity development workshops among others, for different farmer groups.
She maintained that the Ministry of Agriculture has vigorously pursued a policy of zero tolerance to hunger by establishing skill transfer plots across the state for the cultivation of various food and cash crops.
Prof Okon Ansa in his keynote address said the event was a call to action to address the problem of food insecurity, under-nourishment and malnutrition in our society.
He said food is essential for survival but nutritious food will help fight against diseases and the daily stress of living.
Giving an overview of the theme, Prof Okon recommended that women should be empowered to enable them become more productive. He advocated for the improvement of processing and storage of farm produce while encouraging the state government to set a standard for proper nutritious foods for our children and ensure that the standard are met as is the practice in developed societies.