Agriculture in Akwa Ibom State
Akwa Ibom State with with a land mass of some 8,412 square Kilimetres and much arable land in West Africa’s rain forest with a population of over 4million people at a density of 350 inhabitants per square Kilometres is naturally endowed as a food basket in spite of her enormous hydrocarbon deposits that supports the entire Nigerian economy.
In terms of employment, agriculture is the dominant economic activity of Akwa Ibom State. Agriculture supports households of about 75% of the state’s population, the rural economy is agro-based, and the state is a powerhouse for various agricultural products such as palm oil, cassava, yam, cocoyam, plantain, maize, rice, rubber, and many varieties of fish and other sea food including catfish, barracuda, sardines, bonga, croaker, shrimps, crayfish, snappers, bivalves, squids and oysters..
Factors that favour agriculture in Akwa Ibom State abound such as favourable all-year round climate; abundance of rich fertile soil; talented, skilled, and able-bodied manpower base.
Aggressive agricultural sector reforms have enabled us adopt proactive measures and best practices to assure of lessening dependence on oil derivation through massive agricultural development and massive statewide agricultural schemes which include Mechanised agriculture to leverage technology, aggressive environmental security policies, Integrated farmers scheme to empower farmers for improved production, food and grain silos, and accelerated livestock scheme.
AKS government guards against the effects of malnutrition by nutritionally ensuring adequate food intake in children to prevent stunted growth and eradicate extreme poverty to improve food consumption levels. We have elevated rural development, including sustainable agricultural, fishery and forestry production and management of natural resources. Helping people improve their farms and productivity and ensure that farmlands are secured from pollution with top priority of government to guarantee an increase in current levels of production for future food needs.
In order to ensure availability of adequate and affordable food for food security, supply of agro-based raw materials for industry, generation of employment, creation of wealth and economic emancipation of the people, government formulated the policy thrust on Agriculture to cause a quantifiable annual growth in the production of cash crops, staple food, livestock and fish through institutional and infrastructural support for private, small, medium and large scale farmers.
With the looming global food crises coupled with his zeal to ensure food security for the teeming people of the State, Governor Godswill Akpabio initiated various programmes to boost Agriculture and food production.