Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has stated that the broad-based rice processing mill and farm established to boost food sufficiency and the economy of the state in Ini local government area would be be commissioned soon.
Emmanuel, who stated this in Uyo when the first set of the state’s home grown rice was presented to him , said that the planned inauguration of the mill and rice farm was a successful outcome of an initiative embarked by his administration through public private partnership (PPP), arrangement.
The governor expressed delight that the ministry of agriculture and the Committee on Food Sufficiency have lived up to the challenge given them and the expectations of the people of the state to ensure availability of rice in quantity and at affordable price, adding that the success story would add to efforts in bringing down the price of related food products in the state.
He called on the supervisory government agencies to consider expanding the capacity of production of the factory and the redesigning of trademarks and brand to reflect the location of production, hoping that in no less a period about 80 per cent of food items for consumption would be derived locally in the state.
Emmanuel advised handlers of the rice farm and mill to utilise the prevailing peaceful environment, conducive atmosphere and climate to carry on unimpeded services at the factory, while assuring of available market for the recouping of tangible and intangible cost of investments.
The commissioner for agriculture and food sufficiency, Dr. Uduak UdoInyang, said the rice farm and factory, on a 600 hectare of land, took off last year on the strength of an agreement entered by the state government and private investors, describing the feat in planting and processing of the rice tagged : “Family Rice” as real.