A’Ibom 2023: Owodiong to curb poverty, hunger with robust Agric policies

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A prominent governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom, Obong Ide Owodiong has pledged to reduce hunger and poverty in the state by declaring a state of emergency in the agricultural sector.

Owodiong, who is of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, while fielding questions from newsmen yesterday in Uyo on his plan for agriculture promised to place Akwa Ibom among the 10 most sustainable and productive states in Nigeria by 2027 with ample contribution from a transformed agricultural Sector.

He said his mission would remain to develop the agricultural potentials of the state by increasing food production, strengthen the economic status of agro-entrepreneurs and uplift their lifestyle.

“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 said.

Owodiong maintained that the state remained 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 and bees which needed to be boosted.

“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.

“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.” He explained.

Highlighting the benefits of the proposed Agro- Industry in Akwa ibom state, the former ExxonMobil Director cited food security, job creation, income opportunities, talent and 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 Akwa Ibom people to read his blueprint for the state to understand his level of preperadeness to change the narratives and usher in a new dawn with his election as the next governor of the state.

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