Cross River trains 1,000 farmers in modern farming techniques


The Cross River State Government has announced plans to deploy digital technologies to improve the skills of farmers in the state and boost crop yield.



In this regard, the government has presented iPads to at least 1,000 farmers, who had undergone training in modern farming techniques at the Nigerian-Israeli Training Centre in Abuja.



Speaking in Calabar during the Farmers Day celebration and solidarity rally in support of Governor Ben Ayade, the governor said that this was remarkable as Cross River would be the first state in the country to have digital farmers, who would be abreast of the latest technologies in farming.



“This is the first time in the history of Nigeria that we are going to have digital farmers. So, on behalf of the government of Cross River State, for the hundreds of farmers we have sent to the Nigerian-Israeli Training Centre in Abuja and have been trained in modern farming techniques, I have made a commitment that I am going to give them iPads that will give them digital connectivity to new technologies in farming,” the governor stated.



He told the residents to embrace farming as that was the way to go, adding that it was the intention of the government to use agriculture to eliminate unemployment in the state.



Ayade said his government was providing incentive to farmers through the N500m given to the newly-established Calabar Microfinance Bank to give out interest-free loans to farmers.



The governor also said the government would provide free land to farmers through the Ministry of Agriculture.



Ayade stated, “The amount of money you make being a farmer is more than what you can realise from any appointment at all and so, the market is there.



Everyone is drifting into farming and I am asking you to be the early starters. So, you need to take advantage of our vitamin-enriched rice plant, which is the first in the whole of Africa where, you produce rice that not just has starch but high levels of vitamins.



“We need to go back to the farm and this is why I set up the Cross River State Microfinance Bank with a start-up investment of N500m. As long as you are going into agriculture, you will get something from the state.”



The Coordinator of the Cross River Farmers Cooperatives Empowerment, Oliver Ntui, commended the governor for training farmers in cutting-edge technologies in farming.



He stated, “Your agricultural revolution is unprecedented; your rice revolution is overwhelming as you have empowered over 12,000 farmers in Cross River State.”
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