Army preventing our children from writing NECO, cries C'River community

By Ike Uchechukwu, CALABAR

Cross River state governor, Prof Ben Ayade has harped on the need to boost the production of cocoa in the State and the country at large.

Governor Ayade represented by State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alphonsus Eba stated this during the Commissioning of Cocoa House in Ikom, the commercial city of the State, Ikom Local Government Area.

He said that with the dwindling fortune of crude oil, there was need to develop and increase the production of cocoa which used to serve as one of mainstays of the economy before the discovery of oil.

He noted that it was for this reason that the Ayade-led APC government has invested much in agriculture and cocoa production specifically.

He said that the cocoa house which was constructed by stakeholders in the State, would help boost production of the produce in Cross River.

He said that the place would provide a conducive environment to visitors to the area and would also serve the ultra-modern cocoa processing factory been constructed by the government.

According to him, “We are indeed happy and know that this place will be of immense benefit to the coach factory will are contracting here.”

On his part , Mr Ejor Obi, State chairman Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN), expressed their commitment to increase production of cocoa in Cross River.

“We are committed to ensuring that we raise the local production of cocoa, increase it’s economic prominence and attract greater investment into our farms and by extension economy of the state and that of the nation at large,” he stated.

Earlier, Mr Godwin Okwu, Vice President, Cross River/Akwa Ibom and Rivers State Zone of CAN, described the guest house as a well “thought-out” facility which has been topmost on agenda of the association.

He stressed that the cocoa house has been a burden of proper care and world-class hospitality for extra-ordinary calibre of visitors to Ikom and Cross River.

“It is actually a first step in the package we are offering to investors first, and the general public, to ensure that upon visiting, they are treated to appropriate conditions for relaxed, impressive and ultimately satisfying long-term business visit to the state.

“We have seamless blend of tourism and business in the best exquisite way possible,” Okwu stated.

Okwu averred that currently the cocoa economy, in the state is operating at less than 40 percent of the capacity at farm level, less than 50 percent in marketing and 0 percent in manufacturing.

He said that Cross River cocoa economy has potential to sustain the state’s economy if the people and government maximises potentials of the state.

The association appealed to the state government to provide 20 hectares of land specifically at government-owned estate at Cross River forest in Effraya to enable the association raise a cocoa seed garden and a demonstration farm.

“This would make it easier for Crossiverians to have access to hybrid planting materials, utilize Cross River cocoa processing plant for value addition and to also provide comfortable environment for trade to people of the state,” he explained

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