Cross River State Government has announced a private sector investment of $15 million for the Ayip Eku Oil Palm Estate in Akamkpa Local Government Area of the state.
Gov. Bassey Otu of Cross River State said this when he spoke in Calabar at a media forum to mark his 100 days in office.
He said that his administration plans 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 agriculture guarantee fund for rice, maize, fisheries and livestock farmers.
He said that a 100 hectares of cassava would be cultivated within the next one year while the government had commenced planting of 3.5 million hybrid oil palm seedlings in 13 locations across the state.
“In 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-Delta for subsequent establishment of cassava-bio fuel factory in the state, as well as workshop on sustainable oil palm economy,” he said.
Otu added: “Similarly, 50 starter-rice growers have been given free rice seedlings, fertiliser and pesticides, while 30 starter-livestock farmers have been assisted with day old chicks and feeds.
“The objective is to leverage on the multiplier effect of agriculture on employment and growth of state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” he said.