A’Ibom Garri: Farmers, Dealers Carpet Udom -Insist AK Depends On Product From Other States


Against the background of recent comments made by Governor Udom Emmanuel that Akwa Ibom State will soon begin to export garri and other related cassava products from the State to part of the country, citizens of the State have blasted the governor saying that he has misfired.
It would be recalled that the Governor had during the inauguration of an “upgraded” five metric tons of cassava processing mill at Akwa Ibom Agricultural Development Programme, AKADEP, multiplication farm, Ikot Ekang, Abak Local Government Area, claimed that the State will soon commence the exportation of the products.
But reacting to the Governor’s comment, citizens of the State lambasted him, saying that government had not invested in the production of cassava to teed the over six million hungry people in the State, let alone of producing the commodity for export.
A farmer, Mr. Imo Effiong said that the State Government has not secured a single hectre of land to plant cassava and wondered where the 20 tons of garri per day the governor claimed the State will soon produce, will come from.
Effiong said that the citizens would have believed the Governor if he had converted the yet to be achieved coconut refinery project into cassava farm.
This, he noted would produce garri that could feed a good number of citizens whom he said are getting “hungry and angry” everyday.
He called on the State Governor to begin to invest in cassava and other staple food production instead of making ambiguous claim that could be impossible to achieve.
Another farmer, Etim Okon Udo said that hundreds of garri load of trucks from other States in the country like neigbouring Cross River, Benue, Edo, Delta, Ebonyi, arrive the State everyday, and wondered why the governor should think of exporting the product when there is no serious effort in investing in commercial farming.
Udo who challenged the government to tell Akwa Ibom people how much it has invested in agriculture, noted that the State can achieve food sufficiency if there is effort and sincerity to do that.
On his part, a garri dealer at Akpan Andem market, Daniel Udofia said that the recent sale of garri at various places in the State to create are impression that there is abundance of the product for the citizens “is a very wrong impression.”
Udofia tasked government to curtail the many checkpoints and unions that hinder the importation of garri into the State, adding that the citizens must have enough before government could think of exporting it.



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