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The Governor of Cross River State, Senator Bassey Otu has commenced plans to boost the State’s economy through Agriculture while also guaranteeing both food and feed security in the sector.


Senator Otu disclosed this when he declared open a Cassava Value Chain Stakeholders’ Workshop held in Transcorp hotel, Calabar by The National Agriculture Growth Scheme and Agropocket (NAGS-AP)


He commended the workshop and its theme, ‘Cassava: maximizing the full potentials of Nigeria’s Golden Crop’, noting that it was timely and a response to the call by the Nigerian President, His Excellency,Bola Ahmed Tinubu who declared a state of emergency on food security


Governor Otu who was ably represented by the Commissioner for Crops and Irrigation Development, Hon. Johnson Ebokpo, disclosed further that a digital state wide soil and fertility map exercise has been commission and is currently ongoing for all crops and that one hundred thousand hectares of land has been Allocated for cassava production and other Agricultural programmes, the commissioner stated.


Otu, while anticipating great financial dividends that may arise in the nearest future in Agriculture, encouraged Cassava farmers on the need for mass production of cassava, stressing the benefits it would exert on the nation Gross Domestic Product , with reference to countries like China, Japan and United States who have generated income with Cassava production and its value chain.


According to Ebokpo, statistics shows that in 2019, China exported more than 4 million tons of cassava and it’s related products. The United States and Japan exported about 1.5 million tons and Japan 1 million tons respectively .


He optimistically states that Nigeria as the business nerve centre of Africa with myriads of business ideas can’t undermine the overwhelming benefits accrue with massive production of Cassava.


Speaking in the capacity of his office, during an interview with press men, Commissioner Ebokpo

posited that as a State with rich natural resources and rich soil components, it’s imperative to create an enabling agricultural environment for cassava farmers in order to harness the abound and untapped agro-opportunities to. achieve desired goals .


He assured that his Ministry shall make use of this comparative advantage and partner with stake holders from different sector who are ready and willing to invest in agro businesses to ensure the development of a sustainable cassava production strategy for the State.


Hon. Ebokpo, while Addressing Stakeholders during the conversation, equally cropped into the picture, CRS government preparedness and the necessary measures that will be put in place to ensure that practical farmers get the necessary benefits, government support and adequate funding will become a culture, as this will remain a panacea for effective productivity in the sector.


He reiterated Prince Otu’s resolve for the sector to be properly equipped to ensure that its economic benefits are injected into the Cross River State Economy via plans to ensure its gains become part of the collective contribution – alongside other sectors to restore a fresh air for “the People’s First” mantra of the Governor.


Presenting a Keynote address, the CEO of National Root Crops Research Institute, prof. Chiedozie Egesi asserted that the workshop aimed at boosting cassava productivity among small holder farmers and link them with industry for a sustainable value chain system.


Prof. Egesi concluded that the recommendations from the Workshop will help the institute develop an executable and feasible framework for the cassava component that would be integrated into the broad-based national strategy targeting five key crops namely; wheat, maize, rice, soybean and cassava.


The Workshop welcomed goodwill messages from the Economic Adviser to Akwaibom State Governor, Dr. Mrs. UduakObong Inam, represented by the acting Executive Director, Directorate of Agricultural Investments, Mr. Ofonmbuk Nelson; founder of Songhai Center, Bene republic, Prof. Rev. Fr. Godfrey Nzamudo, State Chairman Cassava farmers, venerable Augustine Oqua and the State Coordinator, Association of Women in Trade and Agriculture (AWITA), Dr. Mrs. Ekei Okon as well as the Branch Manager of Fidelity Bank PLC, Mrs. Nnenna Egwu- Inya.



The Workshop was well attended by Biotechnologist , Crops and Cassava Stakeholders across Nigeria and beyond, notably among them were; Alhaji Farouk Rabiu Mudi, President of All farmers Association of Nigeria(AFAN). Dr. Kenton Dashiele, Deputy Director General, IITI , Barr. U Odum-Ijom Ukam , Commissioner for Youths and Sport Prof. Allison Nwokoji of Sheffield University. Mr Babajide Arowosafe, MD South West Agricultural Company. Mr Cyril Ugwu country director, IDH Sustainable Initiative.


Chief Chris Agara, Chairman AA Universal Limited, ably represented by Christabel Agara, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Crops and Irrigation Development, Mr. Ekpe Bassey as well as Directors in the Ministry.

Amawu Cletus Albert Amawu

I'm a Journalist, Host/Producer of The Verdict, your voice of conscience on FAD FM 93.1, Calabar, Public Affairs Commentator, Social Change Agent.

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