Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River State recently announced that the state has secured a loan of N500 million to assist farmers in preparation for a post-COVID -19 era, meanwhile urging Cross River citizens, especially women, to go into farming.
Ayade disclosed this in a statement released by Christian Ita , special adviser to the governor on media and publicity in Calabar at the kick-off of an input distribution to farmers meant to ease the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most farmers in Nigeria are known with small- scale operations characterized with low productivity and low income levels due to their capital formation and inability to acquire modern commercial farming equipment for commercial farming activities.
This has led the Nigerian government at various levels to promote and support the provision of credit to farmers and to make loan acquisition easy enough for them to enhance their agricultural productivity on a large scale.
The post-COVID-19 pandemic has become very clear that only farmers have the capacity to survive even if all the doors are closed, and so I challenge every one of you to own a farm and to show me indeed that your farm is working,.” the governor pressed.
“Let me use this opportunity to say it very loud and clear that the future prosperity lies with farmers. If you don’t have a farm, you have no business in the 21st century.
“Cross River State has made a choice of agro-industrialization and the project pathway is organically connected with a kind of syntax that allows you enjoy the pleasure of the income stream that we have provided by making available a five per cent interest loan for all farmers in Cross River State by leaving the sum of N500 million with the Cross River Microfinance Bank.”