By Idongesit Ashameri,
Akwa Ibom State government has expressed intention to adopt the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model to accelerate agricultural development and join league of agriculture producing states.
The model agriculture, according to the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Matthew Ekaette, would enable the state to be repositioned to create jobs, wealth and reduce poverty in the state.
He said, “Public-Private Partnership is a frame that we intend to use to accelerate development in our agricultural sector. It is a global model that other countries have used and if it has worked with other countries, we don’t see why it wouldn’t work in our state”.
Speaking on the importance of the dialogue with investors and farmers from the three senatorial districts in the state, the Commissioner said the meetings became necessary in order to bridge the gap between the state government and farmers, and separate genuine farmers from their portfolio counterparts.
Expressing government’s willingness to partner with farmers through the provision of the right intervention to guarantee high yields, the Commissioner said Governor Udom was determined to end the importation of food and to make the state food sufficient.
Decrying the importation of local food such as; garri, fufu, plantain from Cross River, he stated that the rich and fertile land in the state was enough to grow crop that can sustain the needs of the state without necessarily going anywhere to import food..
He encouraged the farmers to form more cooperatives or join the existing ones based on their kind of farming.