The Cross River State Government and a Thai firm, Thai-Africa Corporation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of what would be the first Rice City in Africa, in the south-south state.
The agreement was signed at a ceremony in Bankok, the capital of Thailand.
Cross River State governor, Professor Ben Ayade, signed on behalf of his state, while Ms. Pantipa Dhangom, the executive director of the Thai – Africa Corporation, signed on behalf of her organization.
Since assuming office, Governor Ayade has severally pledged to make Cross River State the number one rice producing state in the country.
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According to the MoU, Thai-Africa would be the core investor, who would develop the Rice City project in partnership with Cross River State Government.
Details of the project as highlighted in the MoU indicate that the Rice City would have a solar mediated and automated rice seedling and nursery propagation centre, rice plantation with irrigation infrastructure and mill including packaging and distribution.
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The centre would also have an agriculture training centre, which would oversee the development of various economic crop projects including but not limited to oil palm, sugar cane, cassava, maize, soya beans and more.
It would also have a full mechanized site, clearing, planting, weeding and harvesting equipment.
Thai-Africa Corporation is to facilitate international funding for the execution of the various projects.
The business relationship is expected to attract multi-billion dollars investment into Cross River State.