AKSG Urges Youths, Women to Embrace Cassava Farming
… As Directorate of Agric Investment Inspects Ware House/off – Taking Centre
As part of efforts by the Governor Udom Emmanuel led administration to ease the high cost of staple foods in the state and ensure food sufficiency, the government has called on everyone especially, the youths and women to be more committed in cassava planting with an assurance of a ready market for their harvest.
Speaking during an inspection tour of the construction site for cassava ware house and off – taking centre, the Hon. Commissioner for Lands and Water resources and Supervising Director, Directorate of Agric Investment – Pastor Umo Eno, said that Governor Udom Emmanuel approved the project to encourage cassava production in commercial quantity in the State.
He noted that before now, farmers did not have the guarantee of a market for their cassava when planted, which according to him, made it difficult for them to plant in commercial quantity.
According to him, “what we are doing now is to create a market, a ware house and off taking centre for farmers around. So farmers are encouraged to go and plant and bring. It is different from a social scheme where government gives seeds or other things but this is business, agric business.
“There is a ready market and what any business man wants is accessibility to market his products, so there is a ware house. The Governor in his wisdom is creating these warehouses so that farmers can plant cassava, harvest and sell to government at international market rate and government off takes. Once you find someone that can buy your product, then you can go and produce, and then government is also adding a cassava processing mill here to complement the warehouse and then from this warehouse, government can distribute cassava to other mills.
“This is an attempt to encourage our youths and women to embrace farming with the guarantee that whatever they plant and harvest would be sold.
He maintained that the process would naturally bring down the cost of garri in the State adding that the high cost of garri is due to lack of cassava as people are not planting because they are not sure of the market for their harvest.
“They plant just for subsistence, but now there is a market, a warehouse and off – taking centre. So when you plant and government off- takes it from you and sends it to the mill at a particular price that is stable, of course that would bring down the price of garri, it is an end to end process. Once you control the raw material, you control production and stabilize price,” he added.