Ben Ayade

Cross River Enters Contract For Modern Rice Mill, Banana Plantation

Ayade newsCross River State Government has entered into a number of contracts as part of the aims towards leveraging on the agricultural potentials of the state. The contracts included a modern rice mill in Ogoja Local Government area of the state to be handled by A. A. Universal Nigeria Limited awarded to a Mexican company, Sancalos, handling the Banana plantation project covering about 20 hectares of land in Odukpani Local Government Area.

Prof. Anthony Eneji, Commissioner for Agriculture, made the disclosure in his office during an interview with our correspondent.

He also informed that over 200 hectares of land in Yala Local Government Area was equally cultivated in a government effort partnering with Arewa Farms.

Eneji said work has already began in the Ogoja rice mill, which is meant to complement the rice city project located in Calabar, the state capital where rice nursery and seedlings would be grown.

On the Banana Plantation in Odukpani Local Government Area, the commissioner noted that contract of N500million was awarded to Sancalos of Mexico, which is coming with lots of experience in banana plantation.

He said the contract in the first phase was covering the 20 hectares, which has been cleared already and planting in ongoing.

“Banana yields in about eight months, so by the end of the first quarter of the year 2018, we would be looking at our first harvest. They are special breed of Banana with uniformity in growth and yields but we cannot say that about our local banana. However, the governor has directed that it been grown side by side with the local banana so we can see how it would perform,” he said.

He explained that 100 hectares was acquired in Odukpani, out of which 30 hectares had been cleared and 20 was currently cultivated.

Asked why government did not go for the local banana farmers that are already in the business in the state, the commissioner explained further that the local farmers were not organised and the ones you find are either into banana farming in their home yard or a small farm holding.

He cited the instance of area taken for banana plantation in Odukpani, stressing that “out of the 100 hectares, we have done enumeration for 30 hectares and the voucher for the corresponding cost of N20 million has been raised and payment will be effected soon.

“Besides, the chiefs of the communities in concern in Odukpani were also paid N1.5 million as appeasement fee in the cause of the negotiation”, the commissioner added.

He said in Yala where 200 hectares was used for cotton farm cultivation, “about N10million has already been paid for compensation.”

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Posted by on Aug 15 2017. Filed under Ben Ayade Desk. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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