James Aniyom, commissioner for agriculture and natural resources, Cross River State, has hinted that plans are underway to establish a rice processing factory in the state.
This is part of the efforts of the state government to alleviate the sufferings of farmers who travel to Abakaliki, the Ebonyi state capital, to process their rice.
Aniyom told BusinessDay in Calabar that the bulk of what is commonly referred to as Abakiliki rice actually comes from Cross River State and taken to Ebonyi State for processing.
He said the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources main focus is the provision of assistance to farmers to enhance their productivity and create wealth across the agricultural value chain.
“Our strategy is to use the Cross River State Agricultural and Rural Empowerment Scheme (CARES) as the main tool in reinvigorating and transforming agricultural production in the state.
“CARES is therefore an important scheme which is a partnership between the state government and the citizens of the state that seek to significantly increase agricultural output across the state, thereby transforming our rural communities and empowering our farmers”.
He said in recognition of the importance of the Federal Government’s recently launched Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), the state government is working with the Federal Government and other development agencies like IFAD, FADAMA III and the World Bank through the Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP) to provide assistance to farmers and investors across the agricultural value chain.
This includes the acquisition and preparation of land, provision of inputs, and providing technical assistance through the Ministry of Agriculture’s extension unit.
MIKE ABANG, Calabar