By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
A Chinese firm Wuhan Longfecund Agricultural Development Company Limited is concluding plans to set up a feed mill and maize farm in Cross River State said its Chairman, Yongsheng Cao Wednesday in Calabar.
Cao, who spoke through an interpreter disclosed this during a courtesy call on Governor Ben Ayade at Government House, Calabar where he explained that the Wuhan province has the largest farm and a major maize grower in China and applauded the existing relationship between the state and China.
“I am happy to be in Calabar and indeed, Nigeria, to set up a feed mill and a maize farm. Cross River State and China share same topography and land fit for such production” Cao said, adding that; “”my preference will be on sweet corn as it is going to work well here.” He also pointed out that he would invest eight million dollars in the project before extending to other parts of the country.
Governor Ayade in his response urged the Chinese firm to swing into action with the establishment of a maize farm and pointed out that areas such as Akamkpa, Uyanga, Obubra and Yala were suitable areas for maize farming based on soil studies earlier conducted by the state and will aid the state have first class knowledge on farming and technology of maize and feed mills as all the sweet corn currently used in salads are imported.
Ayade who disclosed that the state has over 21,000 square kilometres of land, also said that; “Cross River State is expanding the horizon in agriculture and taking a leap into agricultural phase to ensure a leading direction” and added that “we don’t come in as traditional farmers but industrial standard and as the benchmark.”
On the choice of maize and how the state will benefit, he said that; “We must focus on maize because other than producing feeds, one of the particular species we are going to grow here which is sweet corn, is to provide Gluck syrup.
“What you will see here is a true reproduction of the true history of the natural wealth that Nigeria has in agriculture as we are going to have maize for export, sweet corn for salads, Gluck syrup for our industries and the feed mills to produce feeds for our poultry and other related products” Ayade said.
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