By Ike Uchechukwu – Calabar
Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade has asserted that farming was one of the only veritable leeways to prosperity, urging Cross Riverians, especially women, to go into farming.
The governor spoke in Calabar during the flag-off of input distribution to farmers as part of mitigation measures against the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the event was also the Minister for Agriculture, Alhaji Sabo Nanono.
According to Ayade, his administration’s commitment to Agriculture was the reason farmers in the state enjoy five per cent interest loan.
He said: “Let me use this opportunity to say it very loud and clear that the future prosperity lies with farmers. If you don’t have a farm, you have no business in the 21st century.
“The post-Covid 19 pandemic has become very clear that only farmers have the capacity to survive even if all the doors are closed and so I challenge everyone one of you to own a farm and to show me indeed that your farm is working.
“Cross River State has made a choice of agro industrialization and the project pathway is so orgasmic and organically connected with a kind of syntax that allows you enjoy the pleasure of the income stream that we have provided by making available a 5% interest loan for all farmers in Cross River State by leaving the sum of N500m with the Cross River microfinance bank.
“Let me say it very clearly that from my experience when you give a loan to a woman to go into farming, you are surer than when you give that loan to a man.
“Because women are more dedicated, they are more committed, more consistent, they have firepower, they have Integrity and honour they have capacity they have intellect and morality they have everything that qualifies them to show consistency and commitment to purpose”
He urged the Minister to increase fund set aside by the federal government for women farmers so as to encourage them.
“I encourage women to please take advantage of the submission of the Honorable Minister for Agriculture that interest-free loans are available. I also plead with the Honorable Minister to increase the money set aside for the women from 35% to 50% that way you can be sure that you will get your returns”, he said.