BY: Our Reporter, Calabar
The Federal government has said that the decision to site the Agricultural Machinery Equipment Institute(AMEDI) in Obudu, Cross River was in recognition of Governor Ben Ayade’s strides in agro-Industrialisation.
The Executive Vice Chairman/ Chief Executive of NASENI, Professor M.S Haruna during the foundation laying ceremony, described the governor as an achiever who deserves to be celebrated.
The Institute is to produce high-tech agricultural equipment to ease and modernise farming.
Professor Haruna explained that Ayade’s achievements and track record prompted President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the citing of AMEDI in Cross River.
According to him, “we are here today not only to lay the foundation for the construction of Machinery Equipment and Development Institute(AMEND) but first and foremost to celebrate an achiever, Governor Ayade.
“I must confess that it is his performance, his record that attracted our attention to decide that AMEDI was suitable to be cited in a cluster of industries in Obudu here in Northern Cross River and the President graciously approved our recommendation.”
Giving an insight into the nitty-gritty of AMEDI, the NASENI boss stated that “this institute is not just a regular institute, it is a South-south zonal institute for Agriculture.
“There are to be only six in the entire country and one of them is located here. It is also among the first three in phase one of the construction and development of this institute.
“This institute has the mandate to research, develop and manufacture equipment to ease farming, to introduce mechanized farming, it is there to ease the method of cultivation, of planting, of weeding, of harvesting, of shelling, of processing and of preservation of food crops.
”He disclosed that “the equipment to be produced here is high-tech in nature and modern and they are to be produced by Nigerians, particularly in the catchment area where the institute is located. They will all be trained.”
Assuring speedy completion of the project, Professor Haruna said President Buhari has directed that AMEDI should commence immediately without delay.
On his part, Governor Ayade expressed gratitude to the president for finding the state worthy of the project.
“I want to celebrate, in a special way President Muhammadu Buhari. I want to celebrate my friend, Professor Haruna. For those who know what I have done in this state, it is only in the fullness of time that you will see the manifestation of our dream. I want you to take a message back to President Buhari and say to him that I and the people of Cross River thank him very much for finding our dear state worthy of this noble, special project.”
Emphasizing the place of agro-industrialisation in the economic growth of every nation, the governor noted that “every nation must start with Agro-industrialization and you cannot agro- industrialize without the basic equipment.
“The choice of Cross River state for this institute, therefore, is a result of the calibration of all that we have achieved in terms of agro- industrialization- establishment of a plethora of agro-industries. So, it would have been unfair if Cross River was not given consideration for this institute and I know that the president is fair-minded. Today is indeed a day to celebrate president Buhari Buhari and professor Haruna”