The Executive Director, Akwa Ibom Agricultural Investments, Pastor Umo Eno has stated that the ongoing Food Fair in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital is an ample opportunity to link interested farmers in the state with investors across the country and beyond.
In his opening remark, the Executive Director noted that the Agric Expo is an avenue to create agricultural business and enhance food Sufficiency in the state.
He maintained that the Nutritious Food Fair is in line with the completion agenda of Governor Udom Emmanuel led administration adding that the Governor is committed to ensuring that before leaving office, 80 percent of food consumed in Akwa Ibom State will be produced within.
Pastor Umo Eno who himself is a farmer, said the Governor is desirous of a paradigm shift from the dominance of subsistence farming to commercial farming or agricultural business.
He disclosed that over 25 major investors in the agricultural sector were in attendance and willing to invest and expressed optimism that such will add great value to the State.
For the record, the 2020 Food Fair is organised by HarvestPlus International in partnership with the Akwa Ibom State Government.
It is worthy of mention that the Agricultural Investments is a brain child of the Governor’s high premium on agriculture for food sufficiency and wealth creation; with a mandate to appraise all agricultural investment proposals submitted to the Corporation by investors, attract and promote domestic capital mobilisation and foreign investment for agricultural development, and coordinating the implementation of agricultural investments in the state amongst others.
Addressing journalists at the event, he said the Food Fair is packed with trainings on different feed and food production adding that the Directorate of Agricultural Investments is available to work with youths and other individuals that are serious to go from planting, processing and other post production activities.
While acknowledging that agriculture is capital intensive, Pastor Umo Eno stressed that emphasis should not be placed on financial involvements but on passion for agriculture.
He decried the scarcity of youths willing to make money and urged all, especially the youths, to embrace the opportunity created by the Food Fair, government’s premium on agriculture and the enabling environment to venture into commercial farming and shun social vices.
Declaring the event open, the State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel stated that he will want to see practical match making of farmers and investors in subsequent outings.
The Governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekwuwem commended women for their involvements in agriculture and tasks the men to borrow a leaf as according to him, “farming is for both men and women.”
High point of the event was the inspection of the different exhibitions by the Governor in company of the Commissioner for Agriculture – Dr. Glory Edet, Executive Director, Agricultural Investments – Pastor Umo Eno, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs -Mr. Frank Archibong and many others.
Credit: Tony Udoh