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Gov Otu clears 72,000 hectares of land for rice farming, other crops

The Governor of Cross River State, Sen. Bassey Otu, has said his government has cleared 72,000 hectares of land to cultivate rice and other crops.

Otu announced this at a dinner for journalists, on Thursday.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Otu also said the government had awarded a contract to procure 108 units of three-wheel mini tractors for use by smallholder farmers across Cross River.

The Governor said his government would continue to encourage the farmers, who had been sustaining food production in Cross River.

He said farmers needed to transition to mass production through mechanised agriculture. He added that the government had re-mapped and re-classified state-owned land in its Southern Senatorial District for commercial agriculture.

According to him, 50,000 hectares would be for the audacious rice revolution, inaugurated at Ndok in Ogoja LGA.

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“The project is financed by a credit guarantee scheme whereby the state government will plough in N150 million monthly with direct engagement of farmer groups.

“At the minimum, the expected annual yield for the 50,000 hectares is about 300,000 tonnes of rice at six tonnes per hectare. This is the food crops revolution, and the same initiative will be extended to cash crops such as cocoa and oil palm.

“The state government has accordingly inaugurated a committee for value chain policy and strategy development on cocoa, oil palm and coffee. We have also distributed solar-powered mini irrigation pumps, mini rice milling machines, grinding machines, livestock feed etc. to farmers across the state to enhance value addition,” he added.

Otu said the government would unveil other support packages for farmers in the next few months to speed up food production.

“This is just a part of what Cross River State Green Economy is all about,” he said.

The governor also mentioned that his government was pursuing agriculture as the mainstay of Cross River.

“The comparative advantage the state has over other states of the nation in terms of arable land and climate, makes agriculture the best foot forward in combating hunger and ensuring food security,” he said.

Frank Ulom
Frank Ulom
Frank Ulom is an experienced Journalist, Blogger and Writer with several years of experience. His stories are based on community development and have brought positive change across board.

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