C’ River State Govt to partner USAID in agri-business development

Mr Okon Owuna, the Cross River Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, on Monday said the state would partner with U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to achieve agro-industrialisation.

Onwuna said this when a team from Feed the Future Nigeria Agri-Business Investment, a USAID project led by Mr Adam Saffer, visited his office.

He said the visit by USAID and the offer for partnership in different fields of agriculture was crucial as it revealed the centre of policy thrust of the present administration.

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“Cross River government is committed to agro-industrialisation which is indeed one of the comparative advantages the state can boast of among other states.

“The state government’s decision to focus on agricultural development and other natural endowments while looking away from the over dependence on the nation’s oil production, was the best thing that has happened to it.

“Development partners such as USAID, World Bank and others working in the agricultural sector should partner with the state to see how to grow food not only to feed the state and country but to also feed the world,” he said.

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Earlier, the Head of the team, Saffer said that the project was focused on raising money and also establishing a good working relationship with the ministry.

Saffer said their presence in the state was to make a difference in its agricultural sector, adding that the project would also help the ministry to review its agricultural policy.

He said the project would also figure out ways to maximise the benefits of the Rice Mill and Rice Seedling factory in the Cross River.

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Saffer said that on Feb. 27, there would be an agri-business investment summit which would be held in Calabar International Conference Centre.

Also speaking during the visit, the Senior Technical Adviser, Agricultural Division, Dexsi Consulting Group, Mr William Scott, said that their goal was to look at the agricultural policy of the state to ensure it was implementable.

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