By Blessing Enagu
The Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN), Cross River State Chapter, has pledged its support towards the actualisation of the food security agenda of Governor Bassey Edet Otu for the State.
Pledging the association’s commitment, Executive Members led by the State Chairman, Mr Yakubu Gowon, during a visit to the Cross River State Commissioner for Agriculture and Irrigation Development, Hon. Johnson Andiambey Ebokpo in Calabar, explained that MAAN as a non-governmental organisation has been in existence for over 30 years in Nigeria with over 10,000 registered farmers in Cross River State.
Yakubu congratulated the Commissioner on his well-deserved appointment, stating that it was pertinent for the association to familiarise itself with the new leadership of the Ministry and foster synergy that will be rewarding to the farmers, the Ministry, and the State.
In his response, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Irrigation Development, Hon. Johnson Andiambey Ebokpo welcomed the association’s move to partner with the Ministry as the state is about to launch an agricultural credit guarantee fund scheme known as “Project Grow” which will drive private sector investments in priority value chains like the maize crop and other export produce.
Hon. Johnson Ebokpo tasked members of the association to strategically position themselves for the Agricultural revolution of the present administration in Cross River State, assuring that his Ministry will welcome progressive collaborations. Other members at the meeting were the South-South Zonal Coordinator, Mr Eliom Lawrence and the State Treasurer, Mr Isua Ayang.
In a related development, the President of the Ikom Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (IKOMCCIMA), Mrs Flora Takim-Ndifon has sought the Ministry’s collaboration in the sensitisation and training of farmers on the use of modern Agricultural machinery, tools, improved seedlings, and other modern farming techniques.
In a brief discussion with the Honourable Commissioner held in his office, the President confirmed that the training is aimed at promoting understanding and appreciation of farming as a sustainable business beyond local consumption needs.