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We'll Transform Cassava Into Oil Wells Of Cross River - Investors Vow

Agro-based industrialists in Cross River state Chief Chris Agara has pledged to leverage the potential of cassava to transform the cash crop farming into a money spinning venture.

According to the renowned politician and farmer, "Cross River needs to harness its comparative advantage in the area by turning cassava export into an oil wells to create sustainable wealth and ensure food security" Chief Agara who is the Chief Executive Officer of A A Universal, stated this during an Interview with Beagle News, during a workshop meant to validate the final draft of the Cassava Value Chain Development Policy in Calabar.

Agara noted that farmers do not need special training to cultivate Cassava since it is an inherited vocation, but will require improve variety ,modern technology, to optimize production capacity and guarantee good yield.

"We, in the private sector are deliberate with efforts to transform the Agric sector, especially the cassava value chain.

After in-depth findings on the use of cassava, we are expecting positive results very soon" Agara assured.

He cited bulk purchase of cassava products in the ready market as one of the challenges faced by farmers,assuring that merchants are already on the ground to off-take the products since it is a perishable good, in order to encourage farmers to cultivate more.

"Cassava can be processed into more than ten products such as industrial starch, Syrups (medicals), ethanol, flour, animal feeds, and food among others. So, we are very prepared to support farmers through innovative and creative approach to cassava farming and will ensure the products are off taken" he pledged.

Also speaking, a top brass famer ,Chief Peter Higgins, harped on the need expand the cassava value chain in partnership with the Cross River government for the benefit of all.

"There is only one thing that doesn't go out of fashion and that is food.

Cassava is the most common food for both the rich and the poor.

We come here to show interest in partnering with the government of Cross River, to invest in cassava, develop cassava, and to take cassava to the point where everyone will benefit from it" Higgins emphasized.

In his response, Cross River Commissioner for Agriculture and Irrigation Development, Johnson Ebokpo hinted at the government's desire to expand the standard of the Cassava Value Chain to accommodate both the public and private sectors by constituting a partnership from the conceptualization stages of development to the final stage for the successful application of the policy.

He further explained, "This is basically because the government is committed to moving the State from a potentially consuming State to a productive State and Cassava is the key driver of productivity."

By Hannah Arikpo, The Beagle News