As part of its efforts to support the expansion of agribusinesses in the state, the Akwa Ibom State Government says it has concluded plans to lease lands to farmers.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Glory Edet stated this during a training for farmers on smart farming, precision and sustainable agriculture.
According to her, the vision of the state government was to eliminate hunger in the state through improved agriculture that would drive income growth.
With capacity building initiatives such as the one organised in collaboration with the Agribusiness Enterprise Development Programme (AEDP), Edet noted that the government would achieve its aim.
She said, “Farmers’ training essentially contributes to human resource development in agriculture and as well address the basic needs of farmers.
“The state government’s policy thrust is on growing the agricultural sector through various commodity value chains to generate employment opportunities. Hence, the focus on the development of agricultural value chain through capacity building.
“AEDP is to ensure adequate training of farmers for increased productivity as well as the establishment of Staple Crop Processing Zones (SCPZs) in the state.”
Corroborating Edet’s claim, the Programme Director, AEDP, Mr Ekanikpong Ben, said that the agency was providing capacity building in agriculture through business and technical training.
He said that the AEDP had also introduced farmers to various technologies and innovations in agriculture to meet the increase in demand for food.
The training would cover areas including, agribusiness management, livestock and fish production, agri-tech principles and improved farming practices, he added.
“The programme’s mission is to create jobs, increase competitiveness as well as promote sustainable and inclusive growth through the acceleration of agribusiness training programmes, with technological integration for the transformation of the agric sector in the state and Nigeria generally,” he said.
Edet, on her part, noted that the training will enable farmers and agribusiness owners develop ideas and gather relevant information about agribusiness enterprises to determine the real market demands for their agricultural produce.
The commissioner, therefore, urged participants to maximise this opportunity by paying attention to the resource persons and adopting the innovations, technologies and techniques that they would be exposed to.
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