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Go beyond cocoa, oil palm, Ayade tasks FAO

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has asked the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations to assist the state with financial intermediation and technical advisors for its agricultural value chain.

Governor Ayade made the plea at the state’s Executive Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office, in Calabar, while playing host to FAO’s representative in Nigeria, Mr. Fred Kateero.

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

Kateero pledged FAO’s readiness to assist the state in its agricultural revolution.

He announced Cross River as one of the states to get $65 million to promote FAO’s core agric value chain which is cocoa and oil palm.

According to Ayade, his administration’s agricultural value chain policy has resulted in the establishment of various agro- based industries in local governments of the state where raw materials for such industries are in abundance.

The governor said that his administration has for example taken the advantage of the abundance of groundnut in Bekwarra local government of the state to set up a groundnut vegetable oil processing plant there.

Emphasising the need for Cross River to work closely with FAO to realise its agricultural objectives, Ayade said: “Our core value chain focuses on 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 advisor”

Alluding to the $65 million intervention, he called on the FAO ” to allows us introduce agricultural value chain beyond cocoa and oil palm.”

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