In line with the need to drive food security and alleviate poverty in Cross River state, the State Ministry of Agriculture has pledged its commitment and willingness to partner with the All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in the state to achieve the outlined objective.
According to the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Ukam Edodi, during a courtesy visit to him recently in Calabar by the executive members of AFAN, Cross River chapter, he described agriculture as one of the key sectors that has ensured continued sustainability of the average Nigerian despite the many challenges inherent in the sector, thus emphasizing the need and focus for aggressive development of the sector in a bid to diversify the economy and reduce the over dependence on crude-oil which he stated to be rid with a lot of uncertainty.
He however urged the association to explore the opportunities for processing and marketing of the value chain to help sustain the farmers and the economy at large, while assuring them of the ministry’s willingness to collaborate with AFAN and assist them with the limited available resources.
In response to the Commissioner, State Chairman of AFAN, Mr. Etim Nakanda, pledged his association’s commitment to add value to the sector through processing, packaging and marketing of the agricultural value chain which he stated will provide direct employment, as well as curb the issue of glut and post-harvest waste.
Furthermore, using the avenue of the visit, he appealed to the ministry to assist the association in the capacity building of its farmers, employment of more Agricultural Project Officers and extension staff in order to provide expert advice to farmers.
To enable the member farmers of the association to benefit from the resources of the state, Director, Agricultural Services, Dr. Martina Ubi, advised AFAN to register with the Growth Enhancement Scheme of the ministry, adding that this would help the farmers to access facilities such as loans and farm inputs from the government.
Culled from AgroNigeria