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C/River to develop 7-year plan to boost oil palm, cocoa, coffee

Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State has charged a newly inaugurated committee to draw up a 7-year strategic plan which will enhance the gains…

Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State has charged a newly inaugurated committee to draw up a 7-year strategic plan which will enhance the gains of three economic crops—cocoa, coffee and oil palm fruits.

The governor made the charge whilst inaugurating a multi-stakeholder committee in his office Wednesday.

He said they were to draw up a development framework for the optimisation of the crops and their value chains in the state.

The strategy will embody cultivation, productivity, and design Value Chain policies for cocoa and oil palm in such a manner that it encourages direct investment, supports farmers and addresses market dynamics.

According to the governor, it was also to mobilise resources for the plan to establish six new cocoa estates in Cross River State which must be in line with climate and biodiversity considerations.

Otu said, “Cocoa, coffee, and oil palm are crops in which Cross River State enjoys unchallenged advantage. We are determined to derive maximum return on our advantage.

The governor said agriculture is the hope of the state, adding that his administration has earmarked 3.5 million oil palms already for planting in this fiscal year.

He also said they have also launched N30 billion commercial agriculture development fund called Project Grow, which is digitally managed.

“We have also commenced the extension of the Smallholder cocoa development scheme for the development of new estates and the regeneration of existing ones. It is my fervent belief that your inauguration today will expand the scope of our vision,” he added.

Otu told the Committee members that in them lies “the future of the agricultural development of the state, and by extension the hope of our economic revival and development,” with a charge that “the time to act is now.”

Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Susan Ohen, assured that her committee would work assiduously towards drawing a strategic plan and policy framework for the optimisation of oil palm, cocoa, and coffee value chains in the state.

 

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