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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Cross River launches massive 50,000-hectare rice farm

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Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State inaugurated a 50,000-hectare rice farm at Ndok in Ogoja Local Government Area on Sunday.

The initiative is supported by a credit scheme in which the state government allocates N150 million monthly to agricultural development initiatives.

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Mr Otu said with the initiative, the state government was poised to revolutionise the agricultural sector directly with farmers.

“We are engaging with farmers groups as part of our agricultural revolution, focusing initially on short-term food crops like rice and cassava.

“We are also progressing towards the development of oil palm and rubber plantations.

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“We are committed to ensuring the provision of essential resources like credit-guarantee schemes to facilitate financial assistance for dedicated farmers,” he said.

The governor encouraged individuals to seize the opportunity to engage in agricultural production.

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Earlier, Commissioner for Agriculture and Irrigation, Johnson Ebokpo, said the government had acquired new tractors to be distributed to local government areas to enhance agricultural mechanisation.

He said that farmers’ cooperatives would manage the tractors.

Mr Ebokpo added that the initiative aimed at empowering youths while supporting small-holder farmers in scaling up their operations.

In his remarks, the Chairperson of the Rice Farmers Association in Cross River, Emmanuel Anoh, projected a minimum yield of six tonnes of rice per hectare of land.

He said the six tonnes would translate to 140 bags of 50kg of rice per hectare, stressing that the significant increase would transform food availability in Nigeria.

Mr Anoh commended the Cross River government for the initiative and expressed confidence about its positive outcome.

(NAN)

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