Hands over to Cluster Farmers
The Cross River State Government has taken possession of two Aggregation Centres facilitated by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The Aggregation Centres which were recently renovated by the Agro-Processing, Agricultural Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS), a Federal Government of Nigeria-World Bank Assisted Programme, are located at Ofodua Community in Obubra and Bendi Community in Obanliku Local Government Areas of the State.
Speaking at the official handing-over ceremony in Ofodua – Obubra, the State Commissioner for Crops and Irrigation Development, Hon. Johnson Ebokpo extolled Sen. Bassey Otu’s people first mantra, which he said, underscores the governor’s passion for agriculture being that majority of Cross Riverians are Agrarian.
Hon. Ebokpo commended the Federal Government’s initiative of encouraging and strengthening the State’s Agriculture sector especially in areas of food security and sustainable development and also expressed thanks for the release of the Aggregation Centres at the request of the State Government.
He assured farmers that the State will provide agro-inputs and enabling environment for cultivation of their crops, adding that collaboration with development partners in the sector will be deepened for more rewarding outcomes.
While taking over the centres, the Crop and Irrigation Development Commissioner, appreciated the project facilitators at all levels and charged the Cluster Heads to utilize the centres sustainably.
Handing over the projects to the State government earlier, the Director, Public Private Partnership, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Makoji Musa thanked the State Government for the cooperation throughout the period and pledged Federal Government’s continuous support for food security in the State.
The State Project Coordinator of CR- APPEALS, Mr. Marcel Agim, while handing over the centres to the respective Cluster Farmer Heads, maintained that the project was aimed at improving environment for agro- industrial and cottage processing activities within the agri-business clusters.
He also admonished the farmers to properly utilize the centres in order to boost agricultural development in the State.
In response, the Chairman, Ofodua Cluster Apex of CR-APPEALS Project, Hon. Gideon Akpor conveyed the appreciation of the entire farmers to the Government for the support and promised to make judicious use of the opportunity for the betterment of farmers and the agricultural sector.
Hon. Akpor pledged farmers’ commitment to the government in all agricultural programmes.
High points of the event was the symbolic handing-over of keys to the centres from the Federal to the State Government and to the CR- APPEALS down to the Farmers’ Cluster Heads.
The Occasion was also witnessed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Crops and Irrigation Development Mr. Ekpe Bassey, former Permanent Secretary of the then State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Jacob Udida, Directors of the Ministry of Crops and Irrigation Development, traditional rulers of the Communities as well as the Farmers.