The Federal Government through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has distributed agricultural inputs to 2, 208 farmers in Akwa Ibom, who were victims of the 2020 flood disaster in the state.
The Director General of NEMA, Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed, during the event said the federal government distributed the inputs as part of measures to ensure adequate food production in the country.
Ahmed, who was represented by Mr. Demien Egwu, Supervisor, Akwa Ibom Emergency Agricultural Intervention Fund (EAIF) for 2020 Flood Affected Farmers, said Akwa Ibom was one of the states that were affected by the disaster.
He said that 13 Local Government Areas in the state were initially enumerated to benefit from the palliatives.
“You will recall in 2020, there was massive flood across the country, Akwa Ibom State happened to be one of the states that were affected.
“The Federal Government in the bid to sustain food security set up the Food Security Council, and their duty was to ensure that farmers that were affected by that disaster are supported to improve food production in the country.
“In line with that, 13 Local Government Areas were chosen for government to intervene with these agricultural produce in Akwa Ibom State. We came to do the enumeration and we enumerated 2, 208 farmers for this project.
“And today, we are here to give the items that the Federal Government provided to the 2, 208 farmers.
“It is my pleasure to inform you that the Director General of NEMA in the person of Alhaji Mustapha Habib Ahmed, has directed me to inform the farmers that NEMA is going to provide the following items
“maize seedlings, rice seedlings, fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides, growth enhancers, water pumping machines, Knap sack sprayers, and yam seedlings that would be provided later.
“The essence of this is to support farmers and encourage the state as well as Gov. Udom Emmanuel, who has been driving agricultural projects to higher levels in the state,” Ahmed said.
He said that Akwa Ibom was among the first five states that were investing heavily in agriculture to ensure food sufficiency.
The Akwa Ibom Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Glory Edet, in her remarks said that it is through agriculture that poverty could be reduced in the land.
Edet said that the state government was not thinking of what the residents would consume now but what will benefit the state in future.
She added that the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has done a lot in his completion agenda, adding that agriculture is key.
She commended the federal government, for including the state for the distribution of farm inputs stressing that through quality inputs there would be good output.
The commissioner urged the farmers to ensure adequate use of the agricultural inputs and warned them against selling the inputs as it was not consumable.
“All the inputs we are giving to you is not for eating, it for planting. Please, don’t sell it, go and plant the seedlings. If you sell any items and you are caught, you’ll be prosecuted,” Edet said.
Responding on behalf the beneficiaries, the state Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Mr Bassey Inwang, assured the federal government that the inputs would be judiciously used by the farmers.
Inwang thanked the federal government, NEMA and the state government for the support given to farmers in the state.