Ayade seeks increased cocoa production as oil revenue dwindles
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River says increased cocoa production will improve revenue generation in the country.
Represented by Alphonsus Ogar, the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), at the inaugurationò Of Cocoa House in Ikot, Mr Ayade said Nigeria needed to seek alternative sources of revenue.
He said with the dwindling fortune of crude oil, cocoa was an available revenue lifeline for the nation.
The governor stated that agriculture was the mainstay of the nation’s economy before the discovery and exploration of oil.
”We are aware that the agriculture sector can strongly support the economy, that is the reason the government is investing in cocoa production.
“The inauguration of the Cocoa House is a testimony of our belief in the economic power of agriculture,” he said.
In his remark, Ejor Obi, chairman, Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Cross River, expressed the association’s commitment to supporting increased cocoa production in the state.
“We shall support efforts to improve the local cocoa production in the state. We are aware of its economic value and benefits,” he said.
Earlier, Godwin Okwu, CAN zonal vice president for Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Rivers States, said the facility would provide world-class hospitality for the extraordinary calibre of visitors to the state.
Mr Okwu further said the cocoa economy was currently operating at less than 40 per cent capacity at the farm level in the state.
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