Calabar, Sept. 8, 2023: Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River says his administration has secured a private sector investment of $15 million into Ayip Eku Oil Palm Estate in Akamkpa Local Government Area.
Otu made the disclosure in Calabar on Friday at a media pally to mark his 100 days in office.
He said that his administration hoped to leverage on the state’s comparative advantage in agriculture to provide the needed employment opportunities and also to guarantee food security.
He said that in addition to the oil palm investment, the government had also developed a six years N30 billion agricultural credit guarantee fund for rice, maize, fisheries and livestock.
He disclosed that 100 hectares of cassava would be cultivated within the next one year, adding that the state had commenced planting of 3.5 million hybrid oil palm seedlings in 13 locations across the state.
According to him, order to ascertain with precision, the soil texture for specific crops in the different zones of the state, government has commenced the State-wide Digital Soil Fertility Mapping.
“This is to ensure that all we are doing will translate to greater yields of different crops.
“Also, in partnership with the Oil Palm Growers Association of Nigeria (ORGAN), the state government has commenced the planting of 3.5million hybrid oil palm seedlings in 13 identified locations across.
“In agric-related human capital development, the state has sponsored its indigenes to participate in cassava-bio value chain conference in Asaba, the Delta capital for subsequent establishment of cassava-bio fuel factory in the state, as well as workshop on sustainable oil palm economy.
“Similarly, 50 starter-rice growers have been given free rice seedlings, fertilizer and pesticides, while 30 starter-livestock farmers have been assisted with day old chicks, feeds.’
The governor explained that the objective of the massive investment in agriculture was to leverage on the multiplier effect on employment and the growth of state GDP.