Cross River State governor, Professor Ben Ayade, has assured the Federal Government and Donor partners of its prompt release of counterpart funds for Fadama 111 additional financing project in the state.
Ayade stated this in Calabar during the flag off of the additional financing of Fadama 111 development project.
He said: “Let me quickly reassure therefore, that, we shall honor all precedent obligations for assessing funds through the prompt release of counterpart funds.’’
He described agriculture as the bedrock of development of any nation, adding that the state had the potentials to becoming the food basin of the country.
“As a state, we are blessed with vast arable land and suitable climatic conditions in participating in different agricultural value chains,” he said.
The governor advised farmers in the state to key into different programme like Fadama 111 additional financing project and other programme to better their lots and increase the revenue base of the state.
He reminded the benefiting farmers that the funds that would be disbursed to them were strictly meant for business and warned them of waste or mismanagement.
According to him, “you must therefore apply the funds religiously for the purposes they are meant for. No form of mismanagement or diversion of funds will be tolerated. ‘’He charged project managers and supervisors to closely monitor the project implementation by the beneficiaries in order to expand cassava production in the state.
Speaking, State Project Coordinator, Mr Bassey Elemi, said that Cross River was selected to participate in the additional financing due to its excellent performance in the last Fadama 111 project between 2009 and 2015.
He commended the state government for paying all its counterpart funds for Fadama 111 implementation project which facilitated the selection of the state for the AD+ project.
He urged beneficiaries to do everything possible to make the project succeed as this would give the state an opportunity to draw more in the project from the $200 million World Bank funds.
He disclosed that a total of 970 hectares had been earmarked for the take off of the project which would last till December 31st 2017 with cassava production as the state’s comparative advantage.