The Special Assistant to the Cross River State Governor on Logistics, Mr. Maurice Okon, has said that Governor Ben Ayade’s agricultural expansion drive will boost the state’s economy in the coming years.
Okon, in an interview in Calabar on Thursday, said the collaboration with private investors to boost the production of rice and banana as well as the provision in the 2017 budget for the massive expansion of pineapple and plantain cultivation would be of great benefit to the country.
The governor’s aide, who said that it would take some time to start reaping the gains of the investments, urged the citizens to be patient.
He also said that the focus of Governor Ayade was to establish factories that would process farm produce to finished goods for consumption.
Okon said, “Ayade has attracted so much investment in the agricultural sector and there is collaboration in massive banana planting. There is also collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria in boosting the production of rice.
“If you go through the 2017 budget, there is provision for pineapple and cassava production. The focus is to convert these goods into finished products which will be value added goods to the economy.
“Investments take time to mature; people will need to be patient. Development for any nation means that there must be food security. That is what Cross River State is heading towards.
“The governor has a strong agriculture policy drive for the state and he is poised to make sure the state becomes self-reliant in the production of food. His idea is to establish a viable agrarian economy, which ensures food for more than 3.5 million people living in Cross River.”
He said that the governor’s decision to abolish tax for poor and low income learners in the state was commendable.
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