…Expands Cultivation Of Onions, Staple Food Items
Governor Udom Emmanuel has said that 7,000 Akwa Ibom youths are to be trained in semi-skilled labour to handle various industrial operations at the proposed $1.4 Billion Fertilizer and Ammonia plant to be sited in the state.
He said at the full operations of the Fertilizer and Ammonia Plant, the 7,000 semi-skilled labour are to create human capacity building opportunities, and appealed to the youths to get set to embrace the opportunity.
Governor Emmanuel made this known on Monday, at the Victor Attah International Airport, Uyo, shortly on arrival from official engagements outside the country. “It is not only fertilizer plant, it’s fertilizer and Ammonia that is coming in so many other projects will be coming in relating to that and so many other things, I like us to be given a little bit of time, but I think what is very urgent is for us to go back and see the human capacity that is on the ground. This is the time the youths must be willing to go on training to be useful so that people from other places will not come and occupy these opportunities.
“A lot of construction works will be going on in some of these projects, we need close to 7,000 semi-skilled labour and to train 7,000 will cost us some time, money and other resources, so I think what is very urgent now is that human capacity development. It’s not for me to keep analysing the projects as you can see the projects are at an advanced stage”. The governor hinted that another project will soon be unveiled in the state saying, “while we are celebrating this one, I think something much bigger is coming that we just concluded on Friday, so I believe once we unfold that we all will be happy”
Meanwhile, the Governor who used the opportunity to inspect the Green House facilities at the precinct of the airport again pledged to support local farmers boost the production of crops that will feed the citizenry in the state. The Governor while inspecting the onions plantation, tomatoes and pepper farms, expressed satisfaction with the State Ministry of Agriculture for the successful cultivation of onions which he said is not very common within the region, and noted that the cultivation of onions in the state will put an end to dependence of external suppliers to the state market.
“I am more excited with the onions plantation, I think this is the same thing people thought is rocket science because we didn’t even try, we thought probably this could not be done and look at it now within three to four months we are harvesting onions it is perfect, it’s really excellent.
“I only inspected the tomatoes and the pepper farm to actually assess the level of harvest and be sure that as it is being harvested the nursery is in tune to replant. Within the week I am going to inspect rice, cassava, all staple foods, so we will use this end of the first quarter to look at providing inputs for local farmers this planting season”.
Governor Emmanuel revealed that the state took advantage of the cut in supply of onions into the state which necessitated the Ministry of Agriculture to swing into onions cultivation, saying, “I keep saying that our target before we leave office in May 2023 is to at least produce 80% of what we eat in our locality.
“So we got challenged last year when they said there is no onions in the market, we said let’s try planting onions inside the Greenhouse, and another outside at least you have seen the result.
“We have given an order to clear more hectares and plant more, so I am sure by June we should harvest a lot of onions, pepper and other vegetables so that we can feed the people”, he assured.
The governor used the medium to commend farmers rearing aquatic animals to meet the demands in the state and beyond and encouraged all Akwa Ibom people to own farms.
In an interview with Government House Correspondents, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Glory Edet, thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for embarking on the inspection at the Onions plantation and Green House Farm, describing him as an Agric-friendly governor whose vision in Agriculture has given the state food sufficiency.
“The governor who has inspected the farm is happy and has directed us to do more, like the onions when we heard about the crisis in transporting onions into our state, the onions we cultivated in our Green House helped us, in Akwa Ibom did not feel the impact because we were fully prepared”.
Dr. Edet, however, stated that the state has trained farmers on the cultivation of various crops and vegetables especially onions to meet demands, saying next year onions planting will cut across all parts of the state.