Cross River trains 1000 on digital farming
In a bid to boost food production, the Cross River State Government has trained 1,000 farmers on how to improve farming with modern technology.
The beneficiaries who were given iPad phones were recently sent to the Nigerian–Israeli Training Centre, Abuja to acquire knowledge on modern farming.
Governor Ben Ayade, who disclosed this in Calabar during the Farmers’ Day Celebration and solidarity rally organised by the state farmers’ Club, noted that the development will be the first time “in the history of Nigeria that we are going to have digital farmers.”
While stressing the importance of the i-pads, he said one of the major tools that would eradicate poverty and provide food for all is agriculture, as state government intends to use farming to create jobs and improve the state economy.
The Governor explained that the state would be providing N500m grants through the newly established Calabar Microfinance bank to give out free-interest loans to farmer, adding that government is also offering free land to farmers through the State Ministry of Agriculture.
He urged people of the state to see farming as a better option. “The amount of money you make being a farmer is bigger than any appointment and so the market is there.
“Everyone is drifting into farming and I am asking you to be the early starter. So you need to take advantage of our vitaminzed rice plant, which is the first in the whole of Africa, where you produce rice that is not just starch, but contains 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 startup investment of N500, 000,000. As long as you are going into agriculture, you will get something from the state.” Ayade assured.
Speaking earlier, Coordinator of the Cross River Farmers Cooperatives Empowerment, Oliver Ntui thanked the governor for his support to farmers, particularly in the area of technology.According to Ntui: “Your agricultural revolution is unprecedented; your rice revolution is overwhelming as you have empowered over 12,000 farmers in Cross River State.
“Out of this number, you have graciously approved the training of 1000 farmers in modern and cutting-edge technologies in rice farming by a reputable agricultural research and technology transfer institute (CCS) in Abuja,” he said.