Says Completion Agenda vision for agriculture a reality

Member-Elect for Essien Udim State Constituency and former Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Prince Ukpong Akpabio II, has congratulated Governor Udom Emmanuel for the successful completion and commissioning of the Tomato processing factory in Itam, Itu LGA of Akwa Ibom State.

Speaking to newsmen at the commissioning ceremony held on Saturday, May 27, 2023, Prince Akpabio said it was a thing of joy and fulfillment to witness the commissioning of the factory, noting with delight that the factory will go a long way to enhance storage, processing, and marketing of the product.

The former Commissioner further noted the move will enhance and increase profitability for tomato farmers in the State and other key players in the tomato value chain.

“I am very happy to be part of this ceremony today. This project was initiated under my watch as Commissioner for Trade and Investment and I am happy that today, my successor has taken this project to a successful end and we are all here to commission this project. I want to use this opportunity to appreciate His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel for finishing strong”, he said.

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According to Prince Akpabio, in 2019 when the Governor began his second term in office under the Completion Agenda, he made it a matter of policy to ensure that by the time he leaves office, 80% of food eaten by Akwa Ibom people are produced in the State.

According to him, “I want to stand here to say that His Excellency has made that promise a reality. First, he started by initiating the passion for agriculture among Akwa Ibom citizens”.

“Today, our farmers can produce tomato, cocumber, pepper and all sort of vegetables that before now, we believed were farm products of the middle belt region but today we grow them in Akwa Ibom State. And the Governor moved a step further by ensuring that we begin to process this product here in Akwa Ibom State”.

“What you are seeing here today, is an edifice housing the tomato professing factory. From now onwards, Akwa Ibom farmers who are into tomato farming will not have to any reason to be afraid of where they will go to sell their product because this is one project that will offtake all the tomato they will produce, he submitted.

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He thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for keeping to his word of ensuring that 80% of what is consumed by residents of the state are produced locally and also congratulated the people of Itu LGA where the factory is located as well as Akwa Ibom farmers, noting with delight that their hope of processing their tomato product has been made a reality by the Governor Udom Emmanuel.