BY ERNEST NZOR, Abuja
The special adviser to the Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade, on Cocoa Development and Control, Dr Oscar Ofuka, has said that the sector has empowered about 3000 women in cocoa farming.
Ofuka, disclosed this while addressing journalists during the Award and Magazine Launch organised in commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day, in Abuja, yesterday.
He noted that cocoa is the major source of revenue generation in the state after federal government oil. He added that, before now, cocoa had been completely forgotten in the state, but during the administration of Governor Ben Ayade, from 2015 up to this moment, Cross River State cocoa sector, alone, has offered employment opportunities to youths, especially women in the state.
According to him, “Women are the political actors when we talk about agricultural development. I will gladly say that women were really involved in plantation development when agriculture was the least recognised in the Nigerian economy. They planted all the cocoa plantations in the Eastern parts and even in the West.
“It was women that actually took part in the development of cocoa plantations in agriculture. So, we need to go back to agriculture, we need to encourage agricultural development and this is exactly what his excellency, the governor of Cross River State, is doing.
“The governor is unique, his posture in terms of agricultural development is not centered on plantation development alone, industries that have agriculture related backgrounds are scattered in the nooks and crannies of Cross River State, and that is why Nigeria needs to celebrate Senator Professor Governor Ben Ayade, a digital governor who has set the pace.”