Akwa Ibom government inaugurates 3 cassava mills soon
Mr Moses Armstrong, the Special Assistant on Agriculture to Gov. Udom Emmanuel made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Uyo on Friday.
He said that the cassava mills, when inaugurated, would help to reduce the price of the product in the market by 50 per cent in the state.
Armstrong said that the mills are located in Eket, Abak and Uruan Local Government Areas of the state.
The governor’s aide also said that the mills are already completed and would soon be fully functional.
The Special Assistant explained that the state government would build 10 cassava mills, one in each of the ten Federal Constituencies, to ensure food sufficiency in the state.
Armstrong said government was committed to the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement to manage the mills for the Ministry of Agriculture in the state.
“The proposed cassava mills in the 10 Federal Constituencies promised by the governor are ongoing; three out of the 10 are ready now in Eket, Abak, Uruan and are functional and ready for inauguration.
“Very soon, the Ministry of Agriculture will place adverts on radio and television to allow experts and private sectors to manage these mills.
“Government cannot do that alone; we need experts and the private sector to come and manage these mills.
“Let’s see how the mills will manifest and be productive for Akwa Ibom people,’’ he said.
Armstrong said that the cassava demonstration farms in the three senatorial districts were cultivated on 22 hectares of land.
“I personally have monitored these projects and they are doing very well and very soon, in about three weeks or one month, we should be harvesting our cassava,’’ Armstrong said.
The Special Assistant said that the technical committee set up by the state government had made the ministry to know that cassava can be planted in two seasons.
“We have two seasons of planting cassava in Akwa Ibom and we never knew that before. We only plant only one season.
“Now, the technical committee has come and taught us that we can actually plant by two seasons, after this planting; in just about a few months, you have to plant again and the plants will come out very well.
“We still have a lot of land remaining for extension, this is a very good one and is commendable and we prayed that the policy of the government on Agriculture should be sustainable,’’ he said.
The Special Assistant said the programmes revolve around food sufficiency to create employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths.
Armstrong said that measures had been put in place to ensure that the loan facilities made available by the government were utilised for farming purposes.
He said that with the implementation of various policies and programmes in the agriculture sector in the state, the problem of food shortage would be a thing of the past.
Armstrong said that this was because 90 per cent of the farmland in the state had the capacity for all-yea farming.
He, therefore, urged the people of the state to embrace farming for food sufficiency.