Okon Bassey in Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has procured 30, 000 tons of fertilizer worth N3.3 billion for distribution to farmers in the state.
Disclosing this in Uyo, the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Sufficiency, Dr. Uduak Charles Udo-Inyang said 10, 000 tons of the product have already been delivered to the state.
He said the food challenge confronting the state would soon be over as the state government has invested reasonable in the agricultural sector.
The Commissioner regretted that farmers in the state were yet to capitalize on the highly subsidized fertilizer of N6, 000 per bag given out by the state government to boost their farming.
His words: â€œWe have abundant fertilizer, even when our colleagues in other part of the country have not taken delivery, I am waiting for our farmers to come and pick it at the rate of N6, 000.
â€œBefore we brought it in, it was costing above N15, 000, now it is between N7, 000 to N8, 500 in the open market, and what they are selling cannot be compared in terms of quality with what we haveâ€.
Calling on the people of the state particularly the youths to key into the window provided by the state government for food sufficiency in the state, the Commissioner said neighbouring states were visiting the state to even buy part of the 10, 000 tons of the fertilizer.
He expressed worry over the attitude of some farmers, who could not invest in large scale agriculture, saying patronage on the fertilizer by Akwa Ibom farmers has been slow.
The Commissioner tasked the youths to look beyond politics and white collar jobs, saying farming holds great potential for the development of the state and its people.
On the scarcity of food stuffs and high cost of buying
most stable food like garri, rice and beans in the state, Udo-Inyang blamed the situation on foods cartel and market unions who create artificial inflation, saying government was working to break the clique.
â€œThere is a clique that we are trying to get into their politics. They have formed themselves into a cabal and unions in every market; we are trying to understand their politicsâ€.