The Akwa Ibom state government has flagged off distribution of seeds and seedlings to farmers to commence first planting season.
It said this effort of government would guarantee food sufficiency in the state by next harvesting season.
According to the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Glory Edet, the state government over the years has been consistent in the distribution of farm inputs to ensure adequate food production.
She said the improved seed and seedlings given would increase yields and add value to farmers in the state and charged farmers to plant the seed and seedlings immediately as it was not for consumption.
“Agriculture is very important as industries depend on raw materials and the raw materials come from agriculture, that is why agriculture is very important.
“Last year we gave inputs, coconut seedlings to farmers in some Local Government Areas and last year too, we distributed over 500, 000 seedlings to cocoa farmers in the state.
“This distribution of farm inputs today is in fulfillment of the promise made by government to farmers. What we are appealing to you is that when we give you go and plant.
“You are not to sell any of the seed or seedlings given to you, the government is giving you free of charge. So, you are not supposed to go and sell.
“I want to also use this opportunity to charge the farmers to be hardworking. Farming is not for poor people; it is for the rich. Richest men are those that farm.
“From April ending we are moving round to inspect your farms and monitor progress. So, that we know how you used the inputs given to you,” Edet said.
She assured farmers that the ministry would provide technical know-how on how the improved seed and seedlings would be used.
Responding on behalf of the benefitting farmers, the State Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Mr Bassey Inwang thanked the state government for the distribution of improved seedlings to farmers.
Inwang assured government that the seedlings would be planted to enhance food sufficiency across the state.
He appealed to farmers not to sell the seed and seedlings and warned that it was not for consumption as it contained some preservatives..