In its bid to enhance the passion of children in agriculture, the Akwa Ibom State Government has distributed farm implements and seedlings to primary schools in Uyo Senatorial District.
The event which took place on Tuesday at St. Michael’s Primary School, Effiat Offot, Abak Road, Uyo, was championed by the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).
Addressing the guests, Commissioner for Education, Prof Nse Essien said “working hard to produce enough food for the citizens, could be achieved through teaching the next generation of Akwa Ibom people and Nigeria by extension, the process of planting, tending of crops to grow, harvesting, maintaining and transforming it to food for consumption”.
Prof Essien who commended the State Government, Universal Basic Education Commission and State Universal Basic Education Board, averred that the exercise would not have been possible, if commensurate counterpart funding and commitment was not made.
In her opening remarks, Executive Chairman, Prof. Maria Ikorok noted that the event in Uyo, was the third and final phase of distribution of the farm inputs, since similar occasion earlier took place in Eket and Ikot Ekpene Senatorial Districts.
Prof Ikorok, said farming as part of our culture, qualifies us as an agrarian people, but regrettably the society at a time tended to look down on farming activity, to the extent that our children in school when asked to engage in, see it as punitive.
According to her, government noticed the trend, and decided to revive agriculture in our nation to enhance food production for the teaming population, as well as ensure that our children appreciate it as an entrepreneurial activity for income earning.
She applauded the instrumentality of Governor Udom Emmanuel, who has set the pace to rejuvenate agriculture, as an alternate source of income, bearing in mind the fluctuating prices of oil in the world market.
The SUBEB Chairman who expressed appreciation to the State Government for the significant steps so far taken to curtail the spread of the ravaging coronavirus, called on the people to cooperate with the authorities by observing the protocols, so that the pandemic would be properly checkmate.
The Don revealed that to make easy for planting, tractors were already engaged to plough the land, therefore the Board was confident that the host community of the schools will arrange and plant the seedlings according to specified dimensions.
Prof Ikorok called on Village Heads to mobilise youths to help clear the grasses in the school premises, monitor projects executed in their school to ensure quality delivery and report any default to the Board for necessary action.
In his response on behalf of the beneficiaries, School Based Management Committee Chairman, St. Thomas Primary School, Afaha Atai, Ibesikpo, Etidung Etim Akpan, lauded the State Government, UBEC and SUBEB for the ingenuity and promised to sustain the School farm Programme.
Items distributed to benefitting schools include shovels, hoes, wheel barrows, machetes, watering can, head pans, cassava cuttings, coconut seedlings, pineapple suckers, oil palm seedlings, maize seedlings, cucumber seedlings, insecticides and fungicides.
The benefitting schools were Government School, Nung Asang, Ikono, Uyo; St. Andrew’s Primary School, Ndon Ebom, Uruan; Methodist Central School, Odot, Nsit Atai; QIC Primary School, Ikot Akpan Abia, Nsit Ubium; QIC Primary School, Ikot Nya, Nsit Ibom; St. Thomas Primary School, Afaha Atai, Ibesikpo; Primary School, Ikot Ebom Itam, Itu; PCN Primary School, Ididep, Ibiono and Four Towns Primary School Ikot Obio Inyang, Etinan.
Dignitaries at the event were Board Member 1, Hon. Bernard Duncan; Board Member 2, Bishop Ime Ekpe; Board Member 3, Hon. Inibehe Etukudo; Permanent Secretary, Elder Ezekiel Umoh; SUBEB Directors, UBEC South-South Zonal Director, Mr. Osahon Igbinoba; Education Secretaries, Head Teachers and SBMC Chairmen in the Senatorial District.
Credit: Anietie Ammah