FG Lists C-River Among Agric Industrial Processing Zones


BY UBON EKANEM, CALABAR – As part of its much-touted resolve to lift about 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years, the Federal Government has selected Cross River among the six pilot states to host Agricultural processing zones in the country.

Cross River Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu, who dropped the hints, said the aggressive agricultural industrialization policy of Governor Ben Ayade’s administration gave the State an edge over others in the South–South geo-political zone

Prof Esu spoke at the opening ceremony of the World Bank sponsored two weeks training programme for the first batch of over 1700 Women and Youths Empowerment Programme (WYEP) at Itigidi in Abi Local Government Area of the State.

The Deputy Governor, represented by the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ntufam Okon John, at the occasion, also hinted that the Minister of Agriculture would soon pay a fact finding visit to the state to access facilities at the various Agro-Allied Industrial ventures.

According to him, these include the Cocoa processing factory at Ikom Local Government Area and the Industrial Park in Calabar, the state Capital where the hybrid rice seedlings processing factory is currently located.

Ntufam Okon also explained that the fact finding facility tour to the state would provide an opportunity for the Federal Government to effectively identify and participate in the on-going agricultural development programme of the state.

He urged participants at the training programme to effectively key into it as they would eventually emerge among the first set of 1000 Green money millionaires that the State government hopes to turn out before the end of Governor Ayade’s second term in office by year 2023.

In his remarks at the event, State Project Coordinator of Women and Youths Empowerment Programme (WYEP), Mr Marcel Ayim explained that about 200 million United States dollars have been earmarked by the World Bank to train participants in the scheme across the six states of Cross River, Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Kogi and Enugu on various agro-allied related ventures.

Ayim explained that the total grant due to each participant would be determined by their investment plan report as there is no provision for a flat rate payment to all beneficiaries.

Most of the participants expressed delight at scaling the hurdle of being selected among the 33000 people across the State who applied for he program me.

One of them, Mr Cletus Ayi told Forefront that he is determined to put the knowledge acquired during the training into effective use while setting up his cassava processing Agro-Allied venture.

The Agricultural Processing Zone Authority (APZA), which is located in six states across the six geo-political zones of the country, would be sponsored by the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB).

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