Officials of the Fadama agricultural projects in the state are lamenting that the state has been unwilling to release its counterpart funding to the projects.
Mr Bassey F. Elemi (JP) who is the Cross River State project coordinator, in an interview, said during the first year of Governor Ben Ayade in office, he was forced to pay the 2016 counterpart funding of about N56 million.
“So far for 2017, the state government has not shown any interest to pay up. And this is seriously hampering our work or obligations to the beneficiaries. We have only depended much on the funds from the International Development Association (IDA), an arm of the World Bank.
“However, even without the counterpart funding from Cross River, we have recorded several achievements as our FADAMA beneficiaries are forging on, some pooling their resources to establish cassava mills.
“With the technical support, including provision of tractors, wheel barrows, improved high yield seedlings, herbicides etc from us, they have enhanced the agricultural outputs in the state. Recently, for instance, many of the beneficiaries harvested their cassava in the Akansoko clusters,” Elemi said.
He said there are 1440 direct beneficiaries in the state, and 1040 hectares of land allocated for FADAMA projects also in the state.
He, however, said only 900 hectares have been utilized in 14 locations in the state.
Two of the beneficiaries spoken to, Mrs Margaret Okon and Mr Bernard Effiong, said though they have not received technical support in the last few months, they would forge on.