Akpan Umoh, Uyo
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, on Tuesday, said that his administration has put in place proactive measures through agro-rebirth programmes which are intended to bring succour to the people even as the world is going through a food crisis.
Emmanuel said this during the World Food Day hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture with the theme, “Leave no one behind”.
The governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, said that before the global community adopted food safety as a talking point for world food day, the state had already introduced unique Akwa Ibom initiatives in food processing, mechanisation and greater hygiene.
He described World Food Day as a global vehicle for awareness creation about hunger, malnutrition and the need for sustainable food production.
“Indeed, here in Akwa Ibom State, all hands are on deck, and like the United Nations, the driving philosophy is “Leave no one behind”
“Such inclusive and collective action across the countries of the world is what makes the World Food Day one of the most celebrated events in the United Nations calendar which stresses the need to ensure a healthy diet,” Emmanuel said.
The governor said that people across the world were struggling to cope with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic which had affected all facets of economic activities.
Emmanuel added that given the impact of armed conflicts, increasing threat of climate change, flooding and rising inflation in many large economies across the world, there was a need to build sustainability in food access to enable citizens to have regular access to adequate nutritious food.
He said that among the agro-rebirth programmes was, the greenhouse initiative very strategic as it was aimed at mobilising and raising a new generation of farmers.
The governor added that the greenhouse technology has enabled people to register strong participation in the cultivation of shrubs like tomatoes, onions and green pepper.
According to him, the Dakkada Global oil, Akwapalm project in Esit Eket, awaiting inauguration is a vote for inclusiveness since it takes away the travail of traditional oil palm production.
The governor commended Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Offiong Offor and her team for gathering people together for the event.
He said that the commemorative action would achieve its avowed objectives of leveraging the production and consumption of safe foods and ensuring food is accessible to many people.
Earlier in her remarks, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Offiong Offor said the World Food Day celebration was an annual gathering with Agriculture stakeholders observed over the world across member nations of the United Nations Organisation to create awareness on strategies of ensuring access to safe and nutritious food for all.
Offor added that the state government has further proven its commitment by implementing its blueprints through various policies and programmes ranging from sensitisation, distribution of farm inputs, access to finance, and capacity development workshops for different farmer groups.
In his keynote address, Prof. Okon Ansa said that the event was a call to action to address the problem of food insecurity, under-nourishment and malnutrition in our society.
Okon, a former Commissioner for Agriculture in the state said food is essential for survival but nutritious food would help fight against diseases and the daily stress of living.