Cashew farms to be revitalised

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The Cross River Government?said?on Monday?that it was?partnering with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in the revitalisation of cashew farms in the state.

Mr James Aniyom, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, made this known?in Calabar in an interview .

Aniyom said this was part of efforts to resuscitate all cash crops in which the state had comparative advantage, to boost the Agricultural Transformation Agenda.

”We are also pioneering the current privatisation of the Dairy Farm and Honey Factory at Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River.”

He further said the state government had successfully established a?rice processing mill at Adim in Biase Local Government Area, through collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.

According to him, the ministry has also successfully distributed cocoa pods and? chemicals to farmers, to help boost cocoa production in the state.

”We want to be number one state in cocoa production in the country.”

He said that the ministry was currently developing agricultural marketing outlets in the 18 councils of the state.

”We are also collaborating with the local government councils in the rehabilitation of existing abattoir and the enforcement of the law on the?transportation of slaughtered meat through the introduction of refrigerated meat vans,” he said.

The commissioner added that the ministry was discussing?with the University of Maryland, U.S., to develop training programmes.

“That will soon take-off, and as soon as it is done, the first batch will leave for the states. “We are also planning to partner with University of Calabar for the inclusion of agriculture extension in their curriculum.”

He said that the state was currently implementing some agriculture programmes through the Cross River Agriculture Development Programme (CRADP), which is an African Development Bank-assisted project.

He enumerated some of the programmes to include the National Programme of Food Security (NPFS), Root and Tuber Expansion Programme (RTEP) and pre-emptive management of Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD).

According to him, the NPFS has so far disbursed more than N231.9 million as loans to farmers in nine local government areas since 2008 for the establishment of small-scale agricultural enterprises.

”NPFS is currently constructing 30 kms of rural roads in?Akpabuyo local government area of Akwa Ibom,?Igbo Imabana in Abi local government area and Nyanya in Bekwara local government area,” he said.

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