By CrossRiverWatch Admin
It is indeed another landmark achievement of Senator Professor Ben Ayade’s administration. It is very symbolic and historic to many students of history.
Many may not remember that during the struggle for the unification of this country when the Nigerian troops attempt to capture the then Calabar in 1967 their entry point was in a rice field in Anantigha – the present day headquarters of Calabar South.
That rice field was a major rice farm in the old southeastern region providing the needed staple food. Mr. President, a veteran from that struggle understands succinctly.
Today when we talk about rice farming many think it’s only in the Northern part of the state that rice farming actually can do well.
That is absolutely not correct. Rice farming can actually do well in all the 18 local government areas in the state. Indeed Cross River is qualified to branded and called the RICE BASIN of this country.
Another significance of the factory is the guarantee the rice farmers now have in the quality of SEED for improved yield from farming activities.
Today, from practical experience the average yield per hectare of rice farm is between 3.5- 4.5mts/ha depending on the agronomic practices. This is due to the quality of the seed, storage and transportation which has been a major major challenge for rice farmers.
In fact seed is the basic input in agriculture – it is an embryo, a living organism embedded in the supporting food storage tissue.
A good quality seed ensures genetic and physical purity of the crops. It enhances capacity to withstand adverse conditions, ensures uniform growth and maturity and can resist pest and disease incidence to a large extent. Good quality seeds of improved varieties ensures higher yield at least 10 – 15 percent all things being equal.
At full operations, the Cross River Seed Factory will be able to provide major seed quality characters viz – physical quality, genetic purity, physiological quality and seed health.
Above all the seed; ‘Calas 77’ will have capacity to guarantee yield of at least 9.9 metric tons per hectare as against 3.5 -4.5mt/ha with optimum moisture content for storage, higher germination rate, longevity, good shape, vigor and market values.
To be Continued…
Godwin Akwaji is an aide to Governor Ben Ayade on revenue and in charge of the Rice Anchor Borrowers Program.
NOTE:Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Godwin Akwaji, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
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