BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Cross River State governor, Senator Ben Ayade took delivery of some heavy duty trucks to facilitate the movement of farm produce to the several agro-industries his administration has established across the state.
The Deawoo trucks were delivered at the Ayade Industrial Park along the Goodluck Jonathan bypass in Calabar.
Receiving the trucks on behalf of the governor, Mr. Robert Akpong said Ayade was readying the state for life without oil in Nigeria.
Akpong, who is Managing Director, Cross River State Agric Development Company Limited, said the trucks will also be used alongside the bulldozers already acquired by government, to clear roads to farms for easy evacuation of farm produce.
The Cross River governor has on a number of occasions said his aim was to replicate the 1876 agro-industrial revolution in Europe as he strives to create an economy for his state.
In line with that effort, he has created about thirty one agro-allied industries in the state.
Speaking on this dream recently, he said: “The agro-industrial revolution which started in 1876 in Britain is about to start in Nigeria and Cross River State is leading Africa towards our own self-sustenance in terms of the entire agricultural value chain.
“If I do not clear new lands and start massive creation of job opportunities for young men and women through the instrumentality of industrial agriculture, then I will have those factories without raw materials.”
He maintained that the state was committed to modernising farming, noting that such move was one of the quick wins to attract people into agriculture.
“Cross River State is introducing a new thinking consistent with first world practice that farmers do not have responsibility for agricultural infrastructure.
“Agricultural infrastructure is the responsibility of government and farmers are only to tend their farms while the responsibility of infrastructure and utility becomes that of government.
“If you have to sweat in Cross River, you do not sweat because you are tilling the soil, you sweat because of pleasure, as machines will be doing your job.”
Continuing, he said: “In industrial revolution, it must be agro-industrial because it is the only system that guarantees massive recruitment of people, production and ultimate beneficiaries of raw materials which means you take raw materials like cocoa and process it until you get chocolate”.