Buhari to commission Africa’s 1st rice seedling factory in Calabar

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Part of Governor Ben Ayade’s economic vision for Cross River State will be crystallised next week, when, on Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari commissions the multi-billion naira automated rice seed and seedlings factory in Calabar.

The factory, according to a statement by Ayade’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Christian Ita, is the first in Africa.

“Cross River state government is happy to announce that President Buhari, will, on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, commission our ultra-modern, fully automated rice seeds and seedlings factory in Calabar,” he said in the statement.

The factory, which is reputed to be the first in Africa, is also a seed multiplication centre that produces high-yielding, disease resistance and vitaminised rice seedlings.

The facility is one of many investments made in agriculture by the Ayade-led administration, in keeping with his commitment to decouple the state from federal allocation, through non-oil sources.

Speaking on the project recently, Ayade said the state is capable of generating, at least, N50 billion from the factory every year, if given support by the Federal Government.

“When I told Cross Riverians that my ambition is to restructure the state and free it from over dependence on federal allocation, I truly meant it, because with projects like this, we are going to generate more revenue for the state,” he said.

He said when it goes into commercial operation, the factory will produce seedlings which will be natural with no chemical added.