The Cross River State Government and CRO-PIT have concluded arrangements to harness the rich agricultural potentials of the state to create employment opportunities.
CRO-PIT has a direct partnership with an Israeli firm and are in twenty-two states in Nigerian providing technical and agricultural extension services as well as an IT support system.
Receiving the frim in Calabar during the weekend, Governor Ben Ayade said his administration is aggressively pursuing an industrialisation policy as each local government has one industry.
Ayade said the state is committed to harnessing the rich agricultural potentials of the state with the view to creating employment opportunities.
According to him, the state has the right environment, the right industrial harmony for industrialization to thrive, hinting that Cross River would explore areas of partnership with the firm.
Enumerating the agro-economic opportunities that abound in the state, the governor said: “In Cross River State, we have nearly one industry per local government area. If you spoke with my Commissioner of Agriculture he will tell you that in Obubra we have a glucose syrup factory coming up to take full beneficiation of the cassava production.
“Today in Nigeria most companies that produce soft drinks use fructose basically as their major source of sugar. So maltose, fructose, glucose syrup will all be products of our cassava-based production.
“In my own local government, Obudu, we have set up a sesame seed processing plant to process sesame seed for export to Europe. So we are tying every local government to their area of priority and that is where your mapping capability comes in because we need to do a proper soil profiling of the entire state.
“We are hoping to grow ornamental flowers, scented flowers for the production of perfume concentrate for export to France and Holland. We are also going massively into potato production for the export of potatoes just like Rwanda does to France. Potatoes grown in the Obudu cattle ranch are organic in nature, very high in terms of nutritional value with very little additives. So it will be the choice potato in France.”
Earlier In his presentations, the Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of CRO-PIT, Mr. Kenneth Ahaneku, said his firm currently manages over 600,000 farmers around the country and is eager to partner with Cross River in agricultural management.
Ahaneku, said:”CRO-PIT Nigeria limited is an organization involved in the management and financing and production of crops for farmers in partnership with the Central Bank.
”At present, we are managing over 600 thousand farms and our target is to hit five million farmers. We will be seeking partnership with the Cross River State government in the area of storage, bagging and distribution of the rice produced at the Ogoja rice mill”, he said
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Ntufam Okon Owuna, said over 70% of the present policy thrust of Cross River is based on agriculture.
According to him, the state government has acquired over 25000 hectares of land across the senatorial districts and it is being prepared and made ready for agricultural cultivation.
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