WB, Cross River to collaborate on rice production, others

Eme Offiong, Calabar

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The World Bank through the Nigerian Government Assisted Agro-process, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Projects (APPEAL), has promised to partner with Cross River State on cocoa, rice production and poultry farming.

Dr. Salua Schue, the task team leader, Agro-process, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Projects (APPEAL) for youths and physically challenged women, made the pledge in Calabar, the capital of the southern Nigerian State.

Vital Components

Schue, who described Governor Ben Ayade’s investments in agriculture as revolutionary stated that the APPEAL project will be working with Cross River on the rice production project as well as the rice value chain.

He said that the government will be supported too on the cocoa value chain and poultry projects.

Offering insights on steps taken to actualize the project in Nigeria,the task team leader stated that they have a component on women and youths. He explained that they will be brought into the investment either as participants to supply raw materials or as marketers.

According to him, women and youths involved in the project would produce rice and equally process the it into noodles.

Increased Funding 

During a technical session with the team in his office, Governor Ayade disclosed that Cross River recently approved the release of 2.5 billion Naira for the acquisition of equipment and establishment of mechanization centres with at least 20 hectares of arable land for cultivation in each of the three senatorial districts.

Ayade said that the effort is aimea at giving potential farmers free access to land as

well as complement the state’s industrialization efforts, particularly in the area of agriculture, which is aimed at creating wealth among the unemployed youths.