Buhari applauds Ayade’s contributions to rice revolution
President Mohammadu Buhari has commended Governor Ben Ayade for Cross River state’s investments in rice production.
President Muhammadu Buhari gave the commendation on Tuesday while giving an Excellent Award in recognition of his government’s effort in that regard. to the state governor, Ben Ayade,
According to the President, Ayade has established in Calabar, the state capital, a multi-million naira Africa’s first-ever automated rice seeds and seedling factory.
The factory was commissioned in June 2018 by President Buhari.
Also, an ultra-modern vitaminized rice mill in Ogoja, in the northern part of the state, is completed and awaiting commissioning by the president in March.
The Cross River state governor received the presidential honour at the unveiling of the Abuja Rice Pyramids by the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, RIFAN.
The event was put together to celebrate President Buhari’s annual rice festival and to flag off the 2022 dry season program.
Speaking while presenting him the Award, President Buhari commended Governor Ayade for his contributions to Nigeria’s rice revolution and rice value chain.
Responding, the governor thanked Buhari for the honour, saying his passion for agriculture has the imprimatur of the President.
“Mr. President I want to thank you for making me a farmer. Mr. President, I want to thank you for turning my wife, a medical Doctor, into a full-time farmer. I thank you for creating a great future for this country through your policy thrust in Agriculture. I thank you for being focused on agriculture,” he said.
According to him, “Cross River State has, based on your policy thrust, taken advantage of your robust agricultural road map to provide an alternative to oil as the mainstay of our economy, to focus on the agro-Industrialization revolution which is the basis of any nation that is prepared to industrialize.
“On the strength of that, Cross River State set up the first and the only vitaminized rice mill in Africa.”
The governor used the occasion to remind the President of his promise to personally visit the state to commission the rice mill in March.
He explained that his administration has made rice farming pleasurable by digitalizing the farming process.
His words: “As long as you continue to use manual energy to farm, your yield will be low, as long as you continue to grow rice using seeds, your harvest will be slavish.
“Today, Rice cultivation in Nigeria gives you an average of three to four tonnes per hectare while in advanced worlds like Thailand and China, you are looking at between 10 and 14 tonnes per hectare. That is technology, that is the digitalisation that my administration has brought in”