James Aniyom, the Cross River State Commissioner for Agriculture has revealed that very soon, finding cassava in the state will be a difficult entreprise because the state government working with the Federal Government will soon establish a 450 metric-tonnes- a day plant in Iyametet, Obubra Local Government Area to utilize all the cassava that will be produced by farmers in the state and beyond.
The Commissioner who spoke exclusively to calitown.com this afternoon in his office said already, 3,000 hectres of land, part of an estimated 6,000 hectres, have been surveyed as part of the FG’s Agriculture Transformational Agenda for the cultivation of cassava in the state.
Aniyom continued that, when completed, the plant will produce animal feeds as well as cassava flour, part of a pilot programme to force down the importation of about N1 billion worth of wheat per day in Nigeria. Already, 2,000 indigenous farmers have applied to the state Ministry of Agriculture to be part of the programme which will commence before the end of this year.
On the severe flooding that has destroyed farmlands in most parts of the state, the agric Ministry helmsman informed that, government had taken, before the rains set in, proactive action in that direction in the last couple of months because of warnings from the Meteorological Agency, revealing further that farmers through Agric Extension workers were encouraged to avoid planting crops in flood prone areas and most of the farmers took to government’s advice and avoided those areas. Others however who went ahead and cultivated those areas, were advised to harvest early and this has contributed tremendously in ensuring that loses suffered are minimal.
When confronted with the activities of commodity unions who have been harassing and preventing local farmers from bringing farm produce directly to urban areas, Aniyom expressed shock at the ugly development and promised to look into the matter so that the trend will be discouraged.
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