Farmers in Cross River State yesterday bestowed the state governor, Professor Ben Ayade with an award as Best Performing Governor in Agriculture.
The farmers, under the aegis of Cross River Farmers’ Cooperatives Empowerment, also threw their weight behind the governor’s second term bid.
The award and support they said was in appreciation of the governor’s revolutionary strides in agriculture.
Speaking at a solidarity rally for Ayade, State Coordinator of the group, Sir Oliver Ntui, hailed the governor’s diversification into agriculture.
He commended him for sending hundreds of farmers to Abuja to be trained by Isreali agricultural experts: “You have demostrated that agriculture is the engine room of growth in developing economies through your various farmers’ empowerment initiatives, agricultural development policies and programmes”, Ntui told the governor.
He added further:” You have graciously approved the training of 1000 rice farmers in modern and cutting edge technologies in rice farming by a reputable agricultural research and technology transfer institute in Abuja…we pledge our total support for your re-election”
Responding, Ayade said the era of manual tilling of the soil in the state was gone for good as he was committed to mechanising agriculture.
The governor used the occasion to flag off the distribution of iPad to farmers in the state.
He told the farmers that the iPads would go a long way in helping them embrace mordern farming techniques.
He announced the state government’s decision to buy off all bags of rice and cocoa produced by Cross River farmers.