- Africa's first automated rice seed factory has been inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari in Cross River
- The president says the factory is capable of generating employment for unemployed persons and income for the state
- He praised Ben Ayade, the governor of the state for keying into the federal government's zero oil agenda which promotes growth in the agricultural sector
President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated Africa’s first automated rice seed and seedling factory in Cross River.
The grand event took place on Tuesday, June 26, during the president's visit to the state. Ben Ayade, the governor of the state said the factory will produce massive yield, added to the fact that it is disease-resistant with vitaminized seedlings which has a potential of generating an income of not less than N50 billion, The Cable reports.
The president praised Governor Ayade for adhering to the federal government's zero oil agenda. He said: “This is a way of making our country less dependent on oil while encouraging investments in other sectors of the economy, particularly agriculture.”
“I am happy that Governor Ayade keyed into that policy and has today become one of the reference points in our agricultural revolution efforts. Our gathering here today is a testament to the fact that the policy is working.
"Indeed, this factory speaks loudly about the giant strides we are making in agriculture. What we expect is that seedlings from this factory will improve rice production from three to four tons per hectare to about nine tons to ensure sufficiency in the country and doing away with import and save foreign exchange for Nigeria.
"The factory is also targeted at creating employment opportunities for the unemployed. I have no doubt that it will be a source of income generation for Cross River state.
“I, therefore, enjoin relevant federal government agencies like the ministry of agriculture and the Central Bank of Nigeria through its Anchor Borrowers programme to partner with Cross River in the area of supply of seedlings to our farmers.”
In an earlier post, NAIJ.com reported that Governor Ayade said on Sunday, June 24, that everything had been put in place for President Muhammadu Buhari’s second visit to the state in three years.
NAIJ.com gathered that Ayade, who made the disclosure while speaking with newsmen in Calabar, said arrangements had been concluded for Mr President’s visit.
The governor said: “We are perfectly in order. This is home coming for Mr President and as far as I am concerned, Cross River is ready to receive him on Tuesday, June 26. We are going to give him a perfect reception."
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