Cross River state governor , Prof Ben Ayade on Monday introduced a new prize for the 2019 Northfest celebration called best Agric innovation machine award.
The annual Cultural festival of the Northern Senatorial District in Cross River state is geared towards promoting agriculture through tourism with this year’s theme: “Humanity: Uniting the people, increasing production”.
According to the organisers , the move which was geared towards bringing out the creativity of the people of Northern Cross River would among other awards cause the people to exhibit their potentials in agric machine fabrication to improve and increase production.
Briefing journalists in Calabar on Monday, Chairman, Central Planning Committee of 2019 Northfest Mr Kenneth Aklah said the award was an addition to already existing prizes including the best harvester and the pageant.
Aklah represented by the Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Events Marketing and Tourism, Mr Noel Ugbong said before now the awards given at the festival were for the best harvester, Northfest King and Queen, best traditional wrestler and best palm wine tapper.
He said the award would translate to increased food production by reducing the man-hour in the Agric value chain.
According to him, the festival affects the lives of the people in the Northern Senatorial District of the state positively as there would be an increase of economic activities in that region of the state.
His words :”The achievement of Northfest in Northern Cross River is immeasurable, aside from empowerment of the people, the hotels, food sellers and even bike riders in the area get a lot of patronage due to the influx of people into the state for the festival.
“It will also serve as a uniting factor for the people of Northern Cross River, that is why the theme of the 2019 celebration is ‘Humanity: Uniting the People, increasing Production’.
On his part, Mr Akpeh Ogon the permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Tourism Development said the 2019 Northfest would not just be a jamboree but a celebration of unity and productivity.
Ogon said there may have been pitfalls in the organisation of the festival in the past, there was always room for improvement and this year’s event would be bigger and better than the previous years.
Northfest is an agricultural and socio-cultural festival held annually in the Northern Senatorial District of Cross River.