On Tuesday in Calabar, the governor of Cross River State, Senator Ben Ayade, through his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu, who was present in a one-day summit with the aim of Promoting Agricultural Value Chain to boost Economic Development, Food Sufficiency and in a Youth Restiveness.
He said farming in the present era is a huge investment if all the youths in the state to start their own farms to generate more income and to fight unemployment which is tying most youths down and further pushing them into crime.
He said: “Whether you are a civil servant, public servant, politician or whatever career, you can engage in farming and nobody will try to stop you and you can own as many farms as you can at any point in time”.
Ayade, through his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu revealed that there are many programmes in the state geared towards raising and giving out funds to promote and ease farming activities in the Cross river State.
Further he decried: ” We have the Accelerated Agricultural Fund, AAF, where the sum of 1.5 billion naira has been approved for farmers, the FADAMA and Anchor Borrowers schemes are there to provide facilities at just one digit interest, so every youth should tap into those schemes to make life easy”.
Ayade also revealed that the state has established factories in some Senatorial districts especially for rice milling, cocoa processing and poultry products processing further said that these factories need to be fed with inputs for processing and the youths are the best people to provide such service considering their strength. He further noted that youth restiveness is as a result of the frustration of joblessness and it causes increase in poverty but if every youth can input strength to farming the burden of unemployment would be leasened.
Meanwhile, the Special Assistant on Agricultural Extension Services, Miss Precious Besong, who organised the programme noted the abundant landmass that is fertile is a huge blessing to the state and anyone can use it to cultivate any crop and make an abundant harvest and profit of anything cultivated. She said: “I encourage everyone to go into agriculture with an investment mindset to make a profit and not as a way of life as our fathers and grandfathers did in the past”
She revealed that there’s will be a convenient accommodation for every youth in the state who is ready to move into agriculture and assured no youth will regret going into farming considering the passion the governor has for the youths. She further urged agricultural investors to invest in the state and as such investments would bring profit in abundance.