Akpan Etukudoh Asare
An Canadian NGO, Cusso International Nigeria has boosted agriculture in Nigeria with the formal commissioning of a rice processing factory in Cross River State.
The project, situated in Ogada community in Obubra LGA of the state, is jointly funded by another organisation, Global Affairs Canada whose aim is to compliment President Mohammadu Buhari’s effort of enhancing the agricultural sector of the country.
Speaking at the launch of the agro processing centre, the project manager in charge of entrepreneurship and value chain, Mr James Odey charged farmers involved in the production of rice crop not to limit themselves to cultivation of rice crop alone but venture into processing, branding and marketing so as to add value to their businesses.
Odey said that citing of the factory in the community will put an end to farmers taking their unprocessed rice to the neighboring state of Ebonyi and other states where high transport fair is paid to motorists for processing.
He cautioned against youths and others in the community not to vandalise equipment installed at the processing centre.
“What we expect the cooperative society to do, from here is
to go beyond processing rice, but go into packaging and branding of the
rice and reach out to the markets.
“I expect members of the society to continue to pull themselves
together, keep straight records of all transactions, diversify their
business from what they are currently going into and do other form of
businesses like branding, packaging and marketing.
In her welcome remark, president Quancy multipurpose cooperative society, Quenet Obase commended the Canadian NGO for equipping members of the cooperative society not only with the funds which was used to site the factory but the technical knowledge used in management of the rice production and processing adding that gave proceeds from the business would be used to assist their husbands and wards in school.
Also speaking, Ogada Community Leader, High Chief Sunday Abam Areba lauded the Government of Canada for awarding the grant to his kinsmen to alleviate suffering in his community adding that with the factory 80% of poverty has been brought to its knees in the community.