By: USHORNYE, Grace.
Cross River State Government says its agriculture-driven growth, poverty reduction, and food security has greatly improved through the State Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (CR-APPEALS) Project.
The project which is a World Bank-Assisted agro-based value chains interventions in Cross River has changed lives and livelihood of citizens in agriculture, Small Scales businesses and other value chain infrastructures.
Speaking during the flagg-off of the 8th Implementation Support Mission (ISM) of the APPEALS Project, in Calabar, the Chairman of Project’s State Steering Committee and Deputy Governor of Cross River, Prof. Ivara Esu said after the last Implementation Support Mission,improvements have been recorded.
The Chiarman who spoke through the Cross River State Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, Dr. Inyang Asibong, stated that the exhibition stands at the event is a testimony to the success story and life-changing opportunities the CR-APPEALS Project has achieved.
“With the support of the World Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria, indigenes of the State have benefitted a lot from the project,with the success stories recorded in almost all the value chains of cocoa, poultry, rice, as well as cassava and aquaculture.
“Apart from the rich array of products on display at the exhibition center, the availability of a mini library which is stocked with newsletters, pamphlets, standard procedure manual in the manufacturing and processing industry in the State, offers stakeholders, participants and guests a comprehensive overview of the Project’s achievements in Cross River State” he explained.
Speaking on the Mission Objectives, the World Bank Task Team Leader (TTL), Dr. Tunji Oredipe called on the CR-APPEALS team to step up on the gas peddle in the utilization of available funds for effective projection implementation in the State.
Dr. Oredipe, represented by the World Bank’s Senior Social Development Specialist, Prof. Oluleayode Taiwo, also stressed on the importance of documentation of all transactions made, as accountability remains the Bank’s core.
In his keynote address, the National Project Coordinator, Mr. Mohammed Jobdi, who posited that the essence of the biannual mission was to review the implementation status of the project in various states, also lauded CR-APPEALS for the ‘appreciable progress’ made so far in the different value chains, women and youths, infrastructure, and other components of the project.
Earlier in his welcome address, the State Coordinator, CR-APPEALS, Dr. Marcel Agim commended the World Bank and the National Project Coordination Office for the tireless efforts to see that the Project remained in shape.
In his vote of thanks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Jacob Udida, opined that Cross River remains the only State among the APPEALS Project States in Nigeria to have a poultry cluster of over forty thousand (40,000) birds are being nursed to enhance the poultry value chain with the support of Governor Ben Ayade.