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A’Ibom govt to empower 900 poultry farmers

The Akwa Ibom State Government through the second phase of COVID-19 Economic Action Recovery Stimulus programme (AK-CARES) is set to empower about 900 poultry farmers in the state to boost productivity.

The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Offiong Offor, disclosed this during the commencement and distribution of feeds and chicks to farmers in Uyo on Monday.

Offor said Gov. Umo Eno has approved the continuation of the second phase of COVID-19 Economic Action Recovery Stimulus programme to assist poultry farmers and other farmers to feed residents of the state .

She said the empowerment programme was geared towards supporting agribusinesses to ensure an improved economy and food sufficiency in the state.

Offor said that rearing poultry birds had become somewhat difficult due to the considerable increase in the cost of feed, day old chicks and other items needed for production.

The commissioner added that the programme targeted at Small & Medium Scale Enterprises would boost the living standards of the people.

“For sometimes now, some poultry farmers have discontinued with their businesses due to the high cost of poultry inputs, so government thought it wise to support farmers to be engaged in poultry production.

“When you receive the inputs, use it to rear the birds. We will monitor the progress of your farm and those who do well will get more support in future empowerment programmes,” Offor said.

She said the empowerment of poultry farmers and other farmers would continue within the next few weeks across the local government areas of the state.

Offor, however, commended the governor, NG-CARES and the World Bank for the collaborative initiative of supporting farmers to overcome the challenges their respective agribusiness enterprises.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman State Steering Committee, AK-CARES and Commissioner for Economic Development, Mr Emem Bob, said the programme cuts across the Ministries of Women Affairs, Trade & Investment, Economic Development and Akwa Ibom Road & Other Infrastructure Maintenance Agency.

Bob added that the importance of the programme would reduce the high price of chicken and poultry products in the state.

He urged Akwa Ibom farmers to put the poultry inputs to good use to fulfil the aim of the programme.

In her remarks, the State Coordinator AK-CARES, Mr Enobong Okpongkpong, said a routine check on some farmers who benefitted from the first phase of the programme showed that their agribusinesses were progressing.

She said that the programme is intended to ensure food sufficiency, hence the distribution to ensure that in the shortest possible time, the high prices of chicken will drop drastically.

One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Itoro Simon, thanked the state government and the World Bank for the gesture and expressed commitment of farmers to make good use of the inputs.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that AK-CARES is a partnership programme of the Federal Government and the Akwa Ibom State Government to cushion the adverse effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on poor and vulnerable households.

 

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