…” Planting tomatoes in the north are seasonal but in AKS is all year round”- consultant
… “Udom may build a tomato processing factory in AKS”–Source
An interaction with the Consultant on agriculture to Akwa Ibom Enterprise and Employment Scheme (AKEES), Mr. Bezhnev Lanqwa has revealed that Okobo LGA of Akwa Ibom State is set to yield an average of no less than 2000 tons of tomato.
Mr. Langwa who doubles as the MD/CEO Benny Fruits and Vegetables Nigeria Limited dropped the hint, yesterday, while fielding question from pressmen who visited the site of the recently acquired 100 hectares of land meant for tomato cultivation in Okobo LGA.
The young farmer attributed the success of the scheme so far to the dedication of AKEES and His Excellency, Deacon Udom Emmanuel whom he said conceived the idea.
In details, Langwa said that the land space which was recently acquired by AKEES for tomato planting was to yield about 2000 tons of Thorgal F1 tomatoes but noted that about ten hectares are under cultivation which is expected to yield about 200 tons.
“You can see the land for yourself, it is about 100 hectares recently acquired by AKEES, you can see my men and I am here to plant tomato, this kind of land can yield about 2000 tons of tomato but we are cultivating in tranches of about ten hectares each”.
Furthermore, langwa held firmly that the days where traders traveled far north to buy vegetables were long behind as AKEES has proven by the success of the planting scheme that the edibles can thrive here. Brezhnev also stressed that the crops will survive better in Akwa Ibom State than in the north due to the amount of rainfall and texture of soil pointing that tomato planting in the north is seasonal while it is all year round in AKS.
Hear him “Traders should not travel anymore to the north which is stressful and expensive to get vegetables because we have proven that these things can be cultivated here successfully, AKEES has proven that from our high yield. There is a market here for one to take advantage, quote me anywhere, in the north, tomato planting is seasonal but here in Akwa Ibom it is cultivated all year round because of the volume of rainfall and the texture of the soil”
On the participation of indigenes in the farming scheme, the professional farmer said that the scheme was free and open to any interested person(s). He further stated that about 100 persons from the state were initially selected to be trained through the program but that only 32 tarried through the process.
In his words “ I do not know why youths and other people in their numbers are yet to take advantage of the scheme, you see, it is free and very profiting, for example we had engaged about 100 persons in the state to be trained through the scheme on tomato farming but only about 32 stayed and followed the process. Some of them are even my competitors today, I am very happy about it ….”
Also in another development, it was scooped that plans are underway by His Excellency to establish a tomato processing plant in AKS as preparation for the high yield expected. Our sources report that AKEES has been tipped to encourage youth participation in vegetable farming in view of the development in the nearest future.
When confronted with the question Mr. Langwa said “if we have people doing lots of tomato planting in many local governments and we have reached a quantity that can supply our food market here, His Excellency has already said he will provide us with a tomato processing plant, which you know what that means, it means you must have a steady supply to the plant. At AKEES we are working tirelessly towards that goal”
Young Cameroun born farmer encouraged the citizens of the state especially young people to associate with the program holding that the future of farming is stable.
Efforts to reach the Coordinator of AKEES, Engr. Uffot Ebong did not yield as at press time.
Written By Eminimo Chantell