Cross River Seeks FAO Support to Boost State’s Agro-industry

The Cross River State Government has called on the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations to support the state’s agricultural value chain with financial intermediation and technical advisors.

Executive Governor of the state, Prof Ben Ayade made the plea while receiving FAO’s representative in Nigeria, Mr. Fred Kafeero at the State Executive Council Chamber of the governor’s office in Calabar.

According to Ayade, his administration’s agricultural value chain policy has resulted in the establishment of various agro-based industries in local government areas of the state where raw materials for such industries are in abundance.

For instance, he added that his government has taken advantage of the abundance of groundnut in Bekwarra Local Government to set up a groundnut vegetable oil processing plant.

The governor also underscored the need for the state to work closely with the food agency to fully realise its agricultural objectives.

He said, “Our core value chain focuses on the agricultural transformation of the state. The need to work with the FAO, therefore, becomes very imperative. We will want the FAO to provide us with financial intermediation and technical advisor”.

On his part, Kafeero said that the purpose of the visit was to rub minds with the state to know its priority on the agricultural value chain and where the FAO can assist.

The FAO’s Country Rep also assured of the agency’s readiness to assist the state in its agricultural revolution, adding that it will be one of the states to get $65 million to promote FAO’s core agric value chain which is cocoa and oil palm.

On the $65 million intervention, the Ayade appealed to the FAO to ensure that the funds have practical values rather than being spent on workshops, seminars and training.

He also highlighted the need for the inclusion of agricultural value chains beyond cocoa and oil palm to grow other sub-sector enough potentials to boost economic growth.