A’Ibom Adopts Multi-pronged Approach to Tackle Hunger, Hardship

Okon Bassey in Uyo

Worried by the hardship being experienced by the citizens, Akwa Ibom State government has adopted a multi-pronged approach to tackling hunger, especially among the poorest in the state.

The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Rrural Development, Dr. Offiong Offor, disclosed this at a media chat, saying the administration of Governor Umo Eno was embarking on a massive food production through investments in agriculture.

The interaction tagged: ARISE Scorecard, with the theme: ‘Food Sufficiency and Security’, was attended  by the state  Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Ini Ememobong; Commissioner for Economic Development, Emem Bob, and the Chairman, Akwa Ibom Bulk Purchase Agency, Mr. Dan Akpan.

She disclosed that seven local government areas in the state have provided lands to support food production.

He said: “The government is funding agricultural cooperative societies, providing lands, fertilizers, improved seedlings, cassava stems, loans and grants as well as constructing rural roads all in a bid to increase food production.

“Food sustainability remains the priority of Governor Eno’s administration. The first thing is that the Ministry of Agriculture merged with the Ministry of Rural Development, which also has a component of cooperatives.

“He was deliberate in doing this because the cooperatives system is the system that is driving food productivity anywhere in the world.

“The state government has a database of farmers, and is working with farmers associations such as the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Rice Farmers Association, and Aquaculture Associations in the 31 local government areas of the state.

“The government is also working with market unions to supply staple foods at subsidised prices. It has provided cold rooms, fishing nets and boats to artisanal fishermen.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Economic Development, Mr. Emem Bob, said the government was targeting about 600,000 households captured in its Social Register for it various interventions programmes aimed at ameliorating economic hardship in the state

Emem said though the state Social Register has increased to 2.3million people, the government is reaching out to the vulnerable poor through 600,000 households captured in the social register.

“The Social Register is well-structured; it’s structured in such a way that we have broken the villages, wards and local government areas, these make up the state social register. And the total number of people we have in the social register is 2.3million as individuals.”

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