The Minister of Agriculture, Mr Sabo Nanono, has commended the agro-industrialisation initiative of Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River.
Nanono gave the commendation on Saturday in Calabar while being conducted round the industrial park by Gov. Ayade for on the spot assessment of the industries built under his administration.
The Minister visited the ultra modern Rice Mill, Ogoja, Cocoa Processing Factory, Ikom, Rice Seeds and Seedlings Factory, the Feed Mill Company, the Calachika Frozen Factory, the Noodles Factory and the Garment Factory.
The Minister described the state’s investment as impressive, adding that agro-industrialisation is an alternative means of revenue generation and employment for youths.
“I am very pleased to see that what will be processed in the Frozen Chicken Factory will be consumed locally and internationally.
“This is very important for us as a country because the consumption of chicken in Nigeria is very high. We need more of this factory across the country.
“It is a great effort and something that will reduce the over dependency on imported chicken where we spend alot of foreign exchange on.
“With this kind of factory, we can internalise our production for chicken and save a lot of foreign exchange because I know that there are lots of poultry farms in the country for eggs and meat”, he said.
Nanono called on other governors to emulate Ayade’s agricultural drive, adding that even without oil, he has done a lot in the agricultural sector to move the nation’s agricultural sector forward.
“It is a reality that I have seen today. The Cross River governor knows the important of agriculture for food sufficiency and revenue generation”, he said.
On the vitaminise rice seedlings, the Minister lauded Ayade for the technological approach deployed in processing the seedlings.
He commended him for also setting up the Cocoa Processing Factory in Ikom local government area of the state and rice mill in Ogoja local government area.
He assured that the Federal Government will support the state with the necessary facilities to promote and enhance agricultural produce in the state.
Speaking, Ayade said his desire to invest massively on agriculture was to create a value chain for food production, employment and exportation to generate revenue.
“We have created a value chain for young men and women to go into maize and soya beans cultivation because that is what we need to put into the feed mill that will feed the birds before the birds will come for slaughter and processed as frozen chicken.
“We are asking young people now to go to the farm and start massive cultivation of soya beans and maize that would be used for feeding this chicken for domestic and external consumption.
“It is in view of this agricultural drive that we have invited President Muhammadu Buhari to come to the state and lunch the Green Money initiative”, the governor added.