Ayade urges FAO to extend agric value chain beyond cocoa, palm oil

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has called on the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations to come to the aid of the state in terms of financial support and provision of technical advisors for the state’s agricultural value chain.

Governor Ayade who made the plea at the State Executive Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Calabar, while playing host to FAO’s representative in Nigeria, Mr Fred Kateero, said that his administration’s agricultural value chain policy had resulted in the establishment of various agro-based industries in the various local governments of the state, where the raw materials for such industries abound.

According to Ayade, his administration, had, for instance, taken the advantage of the abundance of groundnut in the Bekwarra Local Government Area of the state to set up a groundnut vegetable oil processing plant there.

Stressing the need for Cross River to work closely with FAO to realise its agricultural objectives, the governor said: “Our core value chain focuses on the agricultural transformation of the state. The need to work with the FAO therefore, becomes very imperative. We will want the FAO to provide us with financial intermediation and technical advisors.”

In reference to the $65 million intervention, Ayade called on the FAO “to allow us to introduce an agricultural value chain beyond cocoa and oil palm.”

The Cross River State government appealed to Keteero to ensure that the $65 million “has practical value on Cross River rather than being spent on workshops, seminars and training.”

Speaking earlier, Kateero said he was in Cross River “to interface with the state to know its priority on the agric value chain and what FAO can do to help.”

Kateero pledged FAO’s readiness to assist the state in its agricultural revolution and announced Cross River as one of the states to get a $65 million grant to promote FAO’s core agric value chain which is cocoa and oil palm.

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Ayade urges FAO to extend agric value chain beyond cocoa, palm oil

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