Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Cross River State Gets Agric Lifeline From USADF

United States African Development Foundation (USADF) has given a grant of $340,000 dollars about N54,500,000.00 to Cross River State ministry of agriculture to expand its agricultural activities in the state. Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. James Aniyom confirmed the receipt of the grant in Calabar at the signing of agreement between the Foundation and ODOT Women Multipurpose Co-operative Society, (MPCS) and charged the women to make judicious use of the grant.

Aniyom noted that the grant will further boost agriculture business in the state and increase capacity of small holder farmers, explaining that 90,000 dollars representing N14,500,000 has been allocated for capacity building, while $250,000 an equivalent of N40 million will take care of expansion, the farmers' children and also the community.

The commissioner said that United States African Development Fund wants African countries to grow and move away from poverty, adding, "If you package your oil palm produce after processing, you can export them."

The Country Director of USADF, Mr. James Ubaru thanked the Cross River state government for creating an enabling environment for the sustainability of the venture and disclosed that the fund is to help poor countries in Africa, saying the gesture has capacity building and expansion enterprises grants.

Ubaru thanked the Agriculture Development Program/Commercial Agriculture for helping to organize the Odot Women to key into the grant, saying the essence of the grant is to build capacity in the establishment of oil palm mill or refinery, and also help the community, pointing out that oil palm sales and marketing for instance could really prosper a farmer.

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