The Government of Akwa Ibom State has fashioned a concerted strategy to incorporate more women into agriculture as it seeks to achieve optimal productivity from this year’s dry season farming.
This development stems from the government’s need to curtail the devastating perennial problem daunting staple food in the state. The initiative according to report, is set to kick off from February to April.
Revealing the plan to this effect, Commissioner for Agriculture and Women Affairs, Dr. Glory Edet affirmed the government’s position to integrate more women into dry season farming practices.
She confirmed this during the sensitization of the beneficiaries where the disbursement of loans to 3,000 registered vegetable farmers took center stage.
Edet revealed that the loans were sourced and obtained by the Akwa Ibom Agricultural Loans Board (AK-ALB), adding that 80 percent of the beneficiaries will include women, while 20 percent will be men – those engaged in the cultivation of either okra, vegetables, pepper, and waterleaf.
According to her, the loans will be repaid by the beneficiaries in two installments, within four months, across the 31 Local Government Areas of the state.
In like manner, it was reported in June and July last year, that the state government procured and distributed thousands of hybrid plantain suckers to interested farmers across the state, under the midyear plantain farming programme.
Backing the government’s resolve, Edet said, “These initiatives form part of the bulk of the short-term Agric programmes of the Governor Udom Emmanuel administration towards ensuring an all-year-round availability of fresh food in the state.”