By: Emmanuel Ulayi.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is set to collaborate with the Cross River State Government through the Ministry of International Development to boost Agriculture and Power supply in the State.
This was made known by the Honorable Commissioner for International Development, Dr. Inyang Asibong, who was hosted by the Chief Representative of JICA Nigeria Office, Okumura Makiko, in her Abuja Office on Tuesday.
The meeting, according to the Commissioner, is to harmonize ways of harnessing the potential advantages the State has following the setting up of Cross River State by HE , Sen Prof Ben Ayade as the Agro- industrial hub of South- South Nigeria, her vast last land mass and diverse climate through the support of Japanese skills and advantages, and also proffer solution to power supply as well.
In her response, Madam Okumura pointed out that JICA has been supporting small scale farmers with transferring rice post-harvest skills and technologies, and has taken this further by strengthening their capacity and improve quality of rice.
JICA has also shifted its focus to sustainable and stable power supply to industries and local residents by providing support to transmission sub-sectors as well, a feat the Cross River State will also benefit from as they throw spanner in the works.
In related news, the Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment and Promotion (SHEP) implementation has been earmarked to hold between February 2020 and 2024, with Cross River now amongst the benefiting states of the federation.
This will also give new frontiers to agricultural development in the state as nearly a thousand horticultural farmers in the state will benefit from the training and empowerment programs. This is in line with the Agro-industrialization with drive of Cross River State by His Excellency, Sir Ben Ayade, Dr. Asibong said.