No fewer than 3, 000 farmers in Akwa Ibom State would benefit from the Federal Government’s Growth Enhancement Support (GES) programme before the end of this year, an official said recently in the state capital, Uyo.
Dr. Peter Umanah, the federal director in the state, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Umanah said that 2,000 farmers would benefit from the oil palm value chain, while 1,000 others would benefit from the cocoa value chain programme.
“We have just concluded the generic GES scheme in the state. We are about to commence Value Chain GES programme.
“Under this scheme, we will focus on different commodities and, in Akwa Ibom, we are going to implement the oil palm value chain GES and about 2,000 farmers will benefit from this programme this year.
“We are going to implement cocoa value chain GES and about 1,000 farmers are targeted. They will receive free seedlings and other chemicals for their operation at subsidised rates.”
Umanah said that the programme would also be extended to the livestock sector such as goat, piggery and poultry to enhance food production in the country.
Umanah noted that the government would also support aquaculture, and a consultative meeting would be held with stakeholders to educate them on the programme.
He gave an assurance that ongoing Agricultural Transformation Agenda would enable the country achieve food sufficiency as well as reduction in importation of food.
“With this programme on ground, there will be reduction in food importation in the country. When you look at rice, for instance, the level of cultivation has gone up tremendously in the country, as well as aquaculture,” he said.
Umanah stated that farmers, who were skeptical of the programme initially, had embraced it, considering the number of farmers who turned out for registration this year.