Ayade: Replacing Petro-dollars with Agro-dollars by Inyali Peter

No controversy: Gov. Ben Ayade is pioneering agric revolution in Nigeria. And this is verifiable. Undeniable imprimatur of his strength in this regard can be gleaned from his smartness and creativity in replacing Petro- dollars with Agric- dollars. Ayade is focused on delivering a Cross River of tomorrow where agriculture creates wealth and produces millionaires.  

Essentially, Governor Ayade's thoughts about every agric sub-sector is different from what many think. His ingenuity is what is perhaps sustaining his development plan despite the lean financial position of the state.

For instance, while other states have concentrated so much efforts in rice production, he has introduced the automated rice seedlings factory which is obviously a new and refreshing dimension to rice farming in Nigeria to ensure availability of seedlings for states who only produce.

The way the federal government is investing in rice agriculture sub-sector, without the seedling factory, there's every possibility that in the nearest future, Nigeria will been talking about importing rice seedlings for local rice farmers.

Federal government's efforts would have been counter productive because there's no sense in stopping rice importation while in the other way round still import seedlings.This is the problem Gov. Ayade has solved for this country!

He is also building a massive rice mill that when completed, Cross River will become the number one destination as far as rice processing is concerned. Those who have been to the Ogoja rice mill know that it's a really massive project that will have the capacity to serve the entire South South and even beyond.

For Poultry, he has set everything that will make the industry blossom. Some states in the South South who have been into the poulty sector for almost 8 years now don't have the structure Governor Ayade has put in place in Cross River.

While he's building poulty farms in Odukpani, he is establishing a state-of-the-art integrated animal feed mill and poultry breeding in Obubra. The industry is to be complemented with yellow maize and soya beans farm which will supply the feedmill with the raw materials for production of animal feeds.

In addition, he's also setting the state to become a major exporter of frozen chicken with the Chicken processing factory.

The Governor has also invested in cotton and banana farms. The importance of these farms to the state's economy when in full production cannot be over emphasized.

Besides, he is equally investing massively in the Cocoa industry. While he's exapnding the state owned cocoa estate massively with new improved species, something that's happening for the first time since the establishment of the estate, he's also building a Cocoa processing factory in Ikom to ensure that the state don't only produce but process cocoa to different finished goods locally.

There's no better way of growing local economy and encouraging local production than this. If other state governments or the federal government can key into what Ayade is doing, Nigeria, in no distant time, will not only be known as a consuming nation but also become a force to reckon with as a producing nation.

Those who think they are stronger than the state have taken the oil wells away but the only thing they can't take is agriculture. Cross River has one of the largest landmarks in the country and Ayade is taking advantage of this to decouple the state from over reliance on federal allocation by building the economy around agriculture.

This in all sincerity needs the support and endorsement of all Cross Riverians who mean well for this state.

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