Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River has restated his administration’s commitment to developing agriculture towards the industrialisation of the state.
He added that government had embarked on massive agro-industrial transformation to accelerate economic growth in the state.
Ayade, during a visit to the state’s Seeds and Seedlings Factory in Calabar, said a new vista in agricultural value chain is unfolding in the state.
He said that government had taken delivery of state of the art Agriculture machines to aid the pioneering efforts at large-scale mechanised agriculture.
“Cross River has embarked on massive Agro- Industrialisation transformation which is the only way to go and it is the first level of Industrialisation.
“In industrial revolution, it must be agro-industrial because it is the only system that guarantees massive recruitment of people.
“It also requires massive production and (processing) of raw materials which means you take raw materials like cocoa and process it until you get chocolate,” he said.
He said that it was his desire to get Cross River youths gainfully employed through agro-industrialisation, adding that 90 per cent of the industries established in the state were agro-based.
“Obviously, there is no way that all the industries I have set up, 90 per cent of which are agro-based, will function without the appropriate industrial farms.
“For example, the garment factory will require cotton; the instant noodles factory which is rice based will require rice.
“Also, the poultry farm requires maize and soya beans, the cocoa processing factory requires cocoa, the toothpick factory requires organic bamboo and the list goes on,” he said.