May 23, 2024

Ekpo urges youth to develop passion for agriculture

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Akpan Umoh, Uyo

The Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, has called for the urgent need to bring about measures of encouraging youth to develop a passion for agriculture and jettison the current craving for undue political activism and involvement in criminality.

According to Ekpo, the present administration under the leadership of Gov. Udom Emmanuel has prioritised the agricultural sector as the mainstay of its rural economy.

Ekpo said this while declaring open a 2-day South-South Zonal Sensitisation Workshop on Implementation of Food Systems Transformation Pathways on Thursday in Uyo.

The deputy governor, who was represented by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Ekikere Umoh, urged the participants to look beyond the issue of accessibility of food to issues of nutrition, such as facilitating increased consumption of diverse, nutritious and safe foods.

He revealed that the state government has recorded an impactful revolution in the agricultural sector through the establishment of a coconut refinery and cocoa fermentation & drying centre.

Earlier in her welcome remarks, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Offiong Offor, said that the event was a follow-up to the United Nations call for effective and feasible pathways to sustainable, resilient and equitable food systems for Nigeria as a means of realising the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Offor said the summit was a continuation of the zonal exploratory dialogue on UN Food Summit held last year in Calabar, Cross River and was aimed at providing solutions to ways of implementing the resolution earlier agreed upon during the previous session.

She expressed confidence that the deliberation would not only provide an opportunity for the collaboration of Akwa Ibom with other states in the zone but will further foster understanding and appreciation of the responsibilities of all towards food sufficiency.

Offor commended the governor for giving agriculture its rightful position in the state as exemplified in the distribution of farm inputs, interest-free loans, capacity development workshops and numerous other assistance to farmers.

“The State Government has ensured value addition by the establishment of agro-based industries for the production of virgin coconut oil, processing of rice, flour, among others,” Offor said.

Offor urged the participants to key into the vision of investing and encouraging the people to come to terms with the fact that agriculture plays a vital role in poverty reduction and economic growth.

In his remarks, the National Convener, Mrs Olusola Idowu, represented by the Director of Administration, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr Omotayo Adeyemi, said the meeting was aimed at proffering solutions in tackling challenges encountered in the implementation of recommendations earlier reached in order to strengthen the food systems in Nigeria.

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