Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has described the Cross River State Rice City project constructed by Governor Ben Ayade as the best ingredient for President Muhammadu Buhari’s rice revolution.
Governor Ikpeazu while inspecting the automated facilities at the Rice City currently undergoing a test-run, during his courtesy visit to Ayade commended him for creating a value chain in rice production in the country.
Ikpeazu who voiced his amazement at the size of the plant, added: “It is the best ingredient to the rice revolution effort of the Federal Government. This rice seedling multiplication plant is one that will definitely turn around the economy of this country as well change our attitude and behaviour towards agriculture because every step of production is motorized, thereby making agriculture pleasurable.”
Governor Ikpeazu while offering a hint of his two years experience in rice production said: “I personally went into rice production for two years to discourage importation of all kinds of things in the name of rice in this country because I had faith and strong belief in our capacity, but today, I have seen someone that has gone a step further and already producing seedlings that can give high yield per hectare and I must commend Ayade for this giant stride.”
Commending Governor Ayade for the rice seedling initiative, the Abia governor noted: “For me, as far as rice value chain is concerned, this is simply the best way to go to drive the desired revolution in this sector and make the country self-sufficient in rice production.
“In fact, this will actually stir me into rice cultivation because I now have a high yield seedling in our environment. Like I said, what Ayade is doing here is just the way to go, starting from the origin of the value chain which is seedling production.”
Speaking about possible area of partnership, Ikpeazu disclosed that he will soon return to Cross River with his Agriculture, Commerce and Industry Commissioners to sign a workable pact with the state to cement the economic ties.
“I’m so excited that the plant offers extension services and advice on soil texture, preparation, cultivation, harvesting and packaging. It is an end to end services, which is what is motivating my return to rice production and going into strong partnership because when you talk about rice production and the desired technology to drive it, Cross River is where to go in Nigeria today,” Ikpeazu added.