OCP Africa Team, a leading agricultural investment firm in Africa has lauded Governor Udom Emmanuel’s strides regarding his avowed determination and commitment to invest in the agricultural sector as a means of providing sustainable development, wealth creation, revenue generation as well as attract agro industries to the State.
The commendation was made by the OCP Africa Team during a meeting and wrap up session with the Agriculture team of the State. The meeting which was chaired by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem had Presentation of the various achievements of Governor Udom Emmanuel Administration in the agricultural sector by the Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Glory Edet, followed by visit of both the OCP Team and the Akwa Ibom State Team to all the project sites for 3 days. During the debriefing and wrap up session after the sites inspection, the OCP Team having seen the achievements of the Governor was impressed and promised to partner with the State Government to boost the production capacity of farmers.
Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem thanked and appreciated the visitors for their interest in Akwa Ibom State and assured them of the State Government desire to increase food production and create wealth for her citizenry.
The Executive Director of Agricultural Investments, Pastor Umoh Eno and the Chairman Technical Committee on Agriculture, Prof. Edet Udoh thanked the team and expressed the willingness of the State to partner with them. Presenting their findings, the leader of the OCP Africa team, Mr. Caleb Usoh expressed satisfaction with the road network of the State and the quality of agricultural projects, programmes and facilities available.
He stated that the OCP Africa will start with the low hanging fruits like deployment of the OCP agribooster project support and training of farmers, farm and fortune hub centres and establishment of aggregation centres for produce and inputs supply, rehabilitation of some Agriculture training centers, and support to laboratories, Demonstration Farms of the Faculty of Agriculture in the State University, equipping libraries with Agricultural text books. This initiative will also attract linkage and collaboration with the Akwa Ibom State University scholarship to outstanding students in the Faculty of Agriculture.
It is worthy of note that in line with the economic diversification and food sufficiency policy of the present administration, Governor Udom Emmanuel is massively investing in agriculture. Retrospectively, it was believed that certain agricultural plants and crops such as Cucumber, carrot, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, are not suitable for cultivation in the state but that has been demystified following massive successes recorded in the area of input to farmers, trainings, land use, output and access to market.
Some of the projects visited were Coconut Oil factory and plantations, Vegetable Greenhouses, the Ibom Community Farms, the Cassava Warehouse and off-taking centre, (ongoing), the Ibom Agricon Rice Processing Mills, Cocoa Nurseries, Odoro Ikpe in Ini, the Garri Processing Mills, Abak, AKADEP Zonal Training Centre in Abak, the swampy rice farms, onions plantation, amongst others.
The following were also present during the session: Prince Ukpong Akpabio, Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Trade and Investment, Mr. Emmanuel Akpan, Director of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Ofonmbuk Nelson, Deputy Director, Directorate of Agricultural Investments, the Vice Chancellor, Akwa Ibom State University, Vice Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Akwa Ibom State University, Dr. Edna Akpan, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor on Marketing and Brand Management , Mr. Ime Uwah, and Special Assistant to the Governor, on Entrepreneurial Development, Mrs. Meflyn Anwana.