The governor of Cross River State, Prof Ben Ayade, has said that the state is going to set up a proper professional food bank, the very first in Nigeria.
“We are going to set up a food bank, one in each local government area to serve as the catalytic financial muscle that will pick up and buy off every single seed of rice that you will produce.
“The kind of farming we are going to do in Cross River State is going to be special because we are known for class, style and beauty and we will provide an agricultural mechanism centre to provide an industrialised support for farming,” he said in a statement on Monday during the launching of the Rice Borrowers Anchor Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“The programme,” he said, “is in line with the federal government’s scheme to diversify the economy.”
He lauded the government’s proposition to make agriculture the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy, saying that it “also marked the country’s journey to food sufficiency.
“We must seize this opportunity to thank President Buhari for introducing this programme. We must thank him because if you follow the roadmap, plan and vision for this initiative, you will definitely know that this is the beginning of the emancipation of Nigerians from their continuous dependence on imported rice. This is what President Buhari wants to stop because it has the nationalistic outlook to put an end to the declining rate of the naira to the dollar. When we stop importing rice, we will be adding value to our naira. It is key that you appreciate at this point the CBN governor and, in particular, President Buhari, for it is a concept that we must support.”
The governor said that the federal government’s rice production scheme is in tandem with the Cross River State vision to become self-sufficient in rice production. This is even as he assured that the state will add its own dimension to it and set up a proper professional food bank.