Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River has introduced a new award, the ‘Best Agric Innovation Machine Award’ in the forthcoming 2019 Northfest celebration in the state.
Ayade, who announced the new award, said it was geared toward bringing out the ingenuity of the people of Northern Cross River of agriculture farming techniques and fabrication of farming machines to boost food production in the state.
Represented by Mr Kenneth Aklah, Chairman, Central Planning Committee of 2019 Northfest at a news conference, the governor said the award was simply an addition to already existing prizes.
Ayade said the existing established awards at the festival were for the Best Harvester, Northfest King and Queen, Best Traditional Wrestler and the Best Palm Wine Tapper.
The governor was optimistic that the new award would translate to increased food production by reducing the man-hour in the agriculture value chain.
According to him, the festival will affect the lives of the people in the Northern Senatorial District of the state positively as there will be an increase in economic activities in that region.
“The achievements of Northfest in Northern Cross River are immeasurable, aside from empowerment of the people.
“The hotels, food sellers and even motorcycle riders in the area get a lot of patronage due to the influx of people during the festival.
“It will also serve as a unifying factor for the people of Northern Cross River.
“That is why the theme of the 2019 celebration is ‘Humanity: Uniting the People, Increasing Production,’’ he said.
Mr Akpeh Ogon, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Tourism Development in the state, said the 2019 Northfest would not just be a jamboree but a celebration of unity and productivity.
Ogon said there might have been organisational flaws of the festival in the past but noted that there was always room for improvement.
“This year’s event will be bigger and better than the previous years.”
The Northfest is an agricultural and socio-cultural festival held annually in the Northern Senatorial District of Cross River.