The sprawling green vegetation of the vast cassava demonstration farms established by the Technical Committee on Agriculture and Food Sufficiency in the three senatorial districts of the state, are always a sight to behold, especially at this moment of increased emphasis on agriculture.
However, the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District demonstration farm at Ikot Ekan, Abak Local Government Area, is now a shadow of its self as the beautiful stretch of green vegetation is now ruined displaying chopped off shoots, ripped leaves and carelessly and prematurely uprooted crops.
The Abak farm assumed this new look recently after some herdsmen and their cattle allegedly invaded the area to perpetuate their nefarious activity which has gained notoriety in other states of the federation.
Showing newsmen round the destroyed sections of the farm, the Secretary of the committee, Pastor Sunny Ibuot, said it was rather disheartening and provocative that after government had invested so much in agriculture, the effort and resources were being lost in one night.
The project overseer of the farm, Dr. Godwin Udoma, who expressed worry at the development, said the government should expedite action to stem the practice.
Dr. Udoma showed newsmen round many sections of the farm where several stands of cassava were actually uprooted, stressing that if over 90 square metres of the farm was destroyed in just one night, the entire farm could be lost if nothing was done to stop the herdsmen whom he described as deadly.
An attendant at the farm, Mr. Oliver Akpan, expressed worry that the security men at the farm may also be in danger as they may be harmed if they attempt to resist the herdsmen.
He said it was the second time the herdsmen had invaded the farm and other farms in the area within few weeks and called on government to impose stiff penalties on the herdsmen and cattle owners.