Governor Udom Emmanuel preached about food sufficiency in Akwa Ibom State. No one believed in this dream, not because he has failed them before. But because they didn’t understand how possible he would make it happen.
I know many at times, what creates doubt in their minds was the fact that the governor was preaching the gospel of food sufficiency at a time where prices of all essential commodities were high. Udom na Jesus wey dey perform miracle? Na so so question them bin dey ask.
Governor Udom Emmanuel understood the policies of achievement: he knew that to achieve this great dream, he must become a general. Not the general that sit at the comfort of his office to give orders, but the general that must use little resources and manpower at his disposal to win a war.
He understood the moment we are in: a moment where few people inflate prices of essential food products in a bid to make unimaginable profits. So he recognized the fact that to succeed in his food sufficiency’s dream is like a war, a war he can never afford to lose.
To have a flawless victory, he moved into the battle field himself to lead the war. So for the sake of time, I wouldn’t want to touch all areas of his food sufficiency programme, but will only digest the intriguing one which has become the one of the moment. I’m talking about the tomato sufficiency programme if His Excellency in Akwa Ibom State.
The Akwa Ibom Entrepreneurial Employment Scheme, AKEES, under the Bureau of Technical Matters overtime has been piloting the governor’s visions. One of these visions is the tomato sufficiency for all in the state, and other Nigerian states.
AKEES under the supervision of the Senior Special Assistant, Technical Matters and Due Process to the governor, Elder Ufot Ebong, is planting tomatoes in Ifiayong Usuk, Uruan LGA, just beside Le Meridien Hotels and Gulf Resort.
The 7hectare tomatoes farm which is a demo of the governor’s vision has become the greatest shock of the year to people in the state. Some people believed things like tomato does not grow well in Akwa Ibom’s soil, but what they’ve witnessed so far has proven them wrong.
To put them in perpetual shock, what they’re seeing in the 7hectare tomato farm is only a demo of what the governor intends to do by next year. The statw government is working on having a tomato plantation in not less than 100hectares by next year.
The yield which is the best compared to what we have in the markets, has attracted tomato dealers across the country. Early this week, tomato dealers from the North were at the farm to sign a memorandum of understanding with the government for the off-taking of all the tomatoes in the farm. Same applicable to tomato dealers in Akwa Ibom State as well as Rivers State. Due to the quality of its yield, no one want to buy tomatoes from anywhere again. All they want is to buy the one one planted by AKEES.
While the governor was doing the first harvest in the farm earlier today, he observed that the yield is different from the ones we have in the market. This is to say that interms of quality food commodity, Akwa Ibom State has the best.
Not only that the Akwa Ibom State government under Ufot Ebong’s supervision has delivered massively on this task, it has also ensured that onion, which has become a scarce commodity is also planted. Imagine having excess of onions and tomatoes in the state!
By next year when there’s a least of 100hectares of tomato farm, it is most likely that Akwa Ibom State will have a tomato paste industry. Not only this, the state will become the number one producer of tomato in the country.
Indeed, Governor Udom Emmanuel has changed the narrative about Akwa Ibom State.