The World Bank has promised to partner with Cross River State on cocoa, rice and poultry farming.
This will be made possible through the Nigerian Government Assisted Agro-process, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Projects, APPEAL.
The APPEAL task team leader,Dr. Salua Schue described Governor Ben Ayade’s investments in agriculture as revolutionary and second to none in Africa.
He said that the APPEAL project would be supporting the government on the cocoa value chain and poultry project.
Offering insights on steps taken to actualize the project in Nigeria, the task team leader said; “we have a component on women and youths. We will make sure that we bring them into this investment either as participants to supply raw materials or as marketers because what we have is a complete value chain.”
According to him, women and youths involved in the project would not only produce rice, they will also process the rice into noodles.
“In addition to these, just as you intend to set up a poultry, the project is investing in a hatchery, where the youths can grow broilers and then sell to the factory, which would require huge number of chicken to meet up its 6,000 birds capacity per day for processing.
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 a mechanisation and cartelization canters with at least 20 hectares of arable land for cultivation in each of the three senatorial districts.
“The effort is to allow access to free land to would-be farmers as well as complement the state’s industrialization efforts, particularly in the area of agriculture, which is aimed at creating wealth among the teeming unemployed youths and women,” Governor Ayade said.
The Governor took the World Bank team on a tour of completed and ongoing construction of different agricultural plants at the Ayade Industrial Park in Calabar.