Cross River State Government has urged journalist to embrace the cultivation of rice, cocoa and oil palm in order to supplement their income, as well as ensure food security among the populace.
The state commissioner of agriculture, Prof Anthony Eneji, gave the charge during a press briefing held at the Ernest Etim Press Centre in Calabar stating that due to the fertile land and favourable weather condition, whoever ventures into agriculture will reap a bountiful harvest.
He explained how the state government, in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had designed an agricultural scheme tagged ‘Anchor Borrowers’ Programme’, to support both existing and prospective rice farmers in the state, according to report on Leadership.
“We realized that the state is naturally endowed with the land, climate and with the people to push agriculture forward. This is a state with a land mass of nearly 2million hectares, and if you look at it all, 60% of our population of about 3.5million are farmers, but they just do it as a way of life; they don’t do it as business or profit orientated venture.
“But, I think our people should change their mindset and consider farming as a business.
“This is a statement meant to engender and encourage all appointees, including Journalists to venture into rice production. The incentives are there now to grow rice. All it takes is for you to come together as a cooperative of not less than 10 members and approach the ministry of agricultural.
“As regard the 500 metric tonnes cocoa production target, there is no harm in dreaming. We are quite capable of meeting these goals if we put our acts together. We are working together with all our stakeholders”, he said.