In his avowed move to eradicate hunger and poverty in Akwa Ibom State, a frontline Governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom State, Ide Owodiong Idemeko has vowed to declare state of emergency in Agricultural sector if elected governor of the state in the 2023 general elections.
Ide who is contesting under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party stated this in Saturday while addressing Journalists on his plan for Agriculture and food sufficiency in the state in Uyo, the state capital.
He, therefore, promised to lift Akwa Ibom State among the 10 most sustainable and productive states in Nigeria by 2027 with ample contribution from a transformed Agricultural Sector.
Unveiling his vision, Ide said his mission is to develop the agricultural potentials of Akwa Ibom State towards the industrial transformation of the economy of the state.
In the same vein he vowed to Increase food production activities in the state, strengthen the economic status of agro-entrepreneurs and uplift their lifestyle.
According to him. “I will develop agro-industrialization potentials of the state, reduce abject poverty, Increase wealth creation activities of Akwa Ibom State as an Agriculture Powerhouse”.
He maintained that the state is a powerhouse for various crops such as palm oil, cassava, yam, cocoyam, plantain, banana, maize, rice, rubber, cocoa, vegetables among others and sea food (including catfish, barracuda, sardines, bonga, croaker, shrimps, crayfish, snappers, squids and oysters) and domestic animals such as cow, goat and sheep) including poultry, bees, etc.
He further highlighted, “The factors that favor agriculture in Akwa Ibom State include favorable all-year round climate; fertile soil; and talented, skilled, and able-bodied manpower base. With majority of the people engaged in farming, at the subsistence level, as a means of livelihood or additional income, there is very little agro-industrial activities in the State”.
Ide opined that the state will move from Agriculture to Agribusiness, stressing that Agriculture has to do with the growing of crops and livestock for subsistence, commercial and industrial consumption.
“The revolutionary development of Agriculture is what is referred to as Agribusiness; Agribusiness brings about the transformation of agricultural activity through value-addition, leading to the growth of other business opportunities in the Agriculture Value Chain.
“The Agriculture Value Chain is a presentation of the network of activities, the products and services, the support systems and linkages that take place from the point of production to the point of consumption from the Farm to the Table.”
Highlighting the benefits of the proposed Agro- Industry in Akwa ibom State, Ide cited Food Security, Job Creation/Income Opportunities; others include Talent & Skills Acquisition and Economic Growth.
“Agro-industry is defined as post-harvest activities that involve the transformation, preservation and preparation of agricultural production for consumption. It includes artisanal, minimally processed and packaged raw materials, the processing of intermediate goods and the fabrication of final products derived from agriculture”, he emphasized.
He urged all Akwa Ibom people to read his blueprint for the state to understand his level of preparation to change the narratives and usher in a new dawn with his election as the next governor of Akwa Ibom State.