Commissioner for Agriculture, Cross River State, Prof. Anthony Eneji, has revealed that it is now arguably the largest producer of Cassava in the country.
In a statement earlier today, the Commissioner revealed this and more at an ongoing collaborative meeting with the Partnership Initiative for the Niger Delta (PIND) Foundation in Calabar.
Prof. Eneji said
“We have the potential to become the largest economy in Nigeria through agriculture and we are committed to taking advantage of the current dwindling crude oil price to develop our agriculture potential.
“We welcome any willing partner as we cannot do it alone.
“We are arguably the largest producer of cassava in the country. We have concluded plans to build an ethanol production plant worth over N500 million.
“This is aimed at utilising the extracts from cassava for other uses. We are serious about diversification of our economy.’’
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The Commissioner also announced that the State Government plans to build a N500 million ethanol production plant in the state.
Prof. Eneji revealed that the Ministry of Agriculture in the state was working towards increasing its output in cassava production through the Fadama 111 additional project.
PIND, a non-governmental group is in Cross River to explore ways of partnering in the development of aquaculture, cassava and palm oil production.
Prof Eneji said the state was ready to collaborate with the private sector to develop the agricultural sector in Cross River.
Eneji disclosed further that a Swiss palm oil company, Wilmar, had begun large-scale oil palm production in some Local Government Areas of the state with over 50,000 hectares of palm plantation.
Also speaking, the Programme Director of PIND, Mr Dara Akala, said that the group was established in 2010 by Chevron for the development of the Niger Delta region.
Mr Akala said the foundation was in Cross River State to explore collaboration in three agricultural areas with a view to assisting the state in wealth creation and reduction of unemployment.