The Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade says his administration will soon transform the state into a net exporter of banana.
Ayade disclosed this in Mexico on Tuesday shortly after inspecting overflowing huge acres of banana farms in that country.
While expressing delight at the decision of some Mexican farmers to partner the state to establish a huge banana farm in the state, the Governor observed that banana production and export will help his administration achieve the objective of diversifying and reconstructing the economy of the state.
“This banana farm and estate you are bringing is a thing we are in a hurry to get started. It is a handshake of deep prosperity,” the Governor stated, adding that while Naira is what is required to cultivate banana, it is sold in Dollars.
Continuing, he said; “this partnership will diversify and reconstruct the economy of Cross River State. The State has the largest and best soil among the few states in Nigeria that grow banana.”
The governor attributed the recent influx of Direct Foreign Investment, FDI, into the state on the peace and security in the state.
“Our hospitable, calmness and peace are critical for our economic growth. The choice of Cross River repeatedly is because of the peace that investors enjoy in the state.
I feel we must love one another and sustain this attitude as this is what gives us added advantage.”
The Governor’s visit to Mexico is a follow-up to an earlier visit paid on him in Calabar by the team of investors led by Mr. Carlos Peniche.
In his remarks, Peniche thanked the Governor for the opportunity given to them to invest in the state, stressing that the partnership would be of tremendous benefit to both parties.
He further revealed that the project will start with the cultivation of about 2000 hectares.