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Validated Cassava Value Chain Development Policy To Receive Legal Backing In Cross River

The Cross River Commissioner of Agriculture and Irrigation Development, Hon. Johnson Ebokpo, has stated that the recent validated Cassava Value Chain Development Policy by the Ministry will soon receive a legal backing from the Cross River House of Assembly after proper legislation and framework to guide investment into the Cassava Value Chain.

Ebokpo who gave the indication while declaring open a one day validation workshop in Calabar, explained that the new cassava value chain development policy is targeted at exposing and expanding the uses and applications of the crop to an industrial scale in the state.

According to him, this will provide the opportunity of putting more money in the pockets of farmers and creating jobs for the youths while boosting the economy.

"The transformational power of cassava is enormous, for instance, the production of Cassava is a lifestyle for farmers across the 18 local government areas of the State.

As a Food security crop and in it's biofortified form, cassava feeds families and provides the required nutrition for our teeming population, offering means of livelihood to our farm families," Ebokpo explained.

The Agric Commissioner, remarked that the Governor Prince Bassey Otu's vision of building a prosperous and vibrant Cross River birth the policy on cassava value chain development in recognition of the potentials of cassava as a catalyst for positive change and as a foundation for economic development.

"In line with his "People First" mantra, his Excellency, Prince Otu has made available, one hundred thousand hectares of land across the state for cassava cultivation."

He urged stakeholders at the validation workshop to review and validate the policy with utmost efficiency to ensure that everything needed is included to enhance the success of Cross Riverians because " together we have the power to make this a reality, the success of our cassava industry will be a testament to the resilience and determination of our State."

Stakeholders at the validation workshop advocated the introduction of home farming with emphasis on the teaching of Agricultural Science in institutions of learning while new technologies were suggested to replace moribud policies of past administrations.

The private sector was represented by the CEOs of A A Universal, Chief Chris Agara, High Chief Higgins Peters and Chairman Cassava Growers Association Cross River State chapter, Venerable Augustine Oqua who pledged their support towards the workability of the cassava policy in Cross River.

The validation workshop also witnessed goodwill messages from the Cross River House of Assembly Chairman Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, Hon. Philip Bette Obi and Commissioners from line Ministries such as Information, Commerce and that of Wealth Creation, group presentations as well as an interactive session.

By Hannah Arikpo, The Beagle News