The president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has praised the governor of Cross River State, Sen. Benedict Ayade over his rice seedling factory, stating that the governor has a keen eye for a more advanced Cross River State tomorrow.
Mr. President made this assertion yesterday in Calabar when at visited the state capital to commission the rice seedling factory.
Being his second visit to the state, Buhari, who on his first visit performed the ground breaking activity of the governor’s 274km superhighway, a project which suffered a fatal death at infancy, described the rice seedling factory project as a visionary and trail-blazing project.
Praising Ayade for having keyed into the Federal Government’s zero-oil economic roadmap, Buhari said that he is satisfied with Ayade who “has today become one of the reference points in our agricultural revolution effort”.
“Our gathering here today is no doubt a determination woven through to precision and a glowing testament to the fact that the policy is working.
“Indeed, this factory speaks loudly about the giant strides we are making in agriculture as a country. This monumental project for which we are gathered here today is a marvel to behold,” Buhari said.
The factory, which is said to be the first in Africa, is an automated plant with a capacity to produce high yielding vitaminized and disease resistance rice seedlings.
Registering his dreams for the factory, the president said that he expect the factory to improve rice yield from the current national average of 3 to 4 tons per hectare to about 9 to 10 tons per hectare, thus helping to ensure rice sufficiency in the country and doing away with imports and saving foreign exchange for Nigeria and hopes that other states that are yet to fully take advantage of the zero-oil economic roadmap of the Federal Government will take a cue from Cross River State while calling on relevant Federal Government Agencies such as the Ministry of Agriculture and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), through its Anchor Borrower’s Programme, to partner the state in the area of supply of seedlings to farmers.