CRS IS NIGERIA’S STATE-OF-THE-ART, SAYS USAID CHIEF OF PARTY

Cross River State under the leadership of Sir Benedict Ayade as Governor has been described as “Nigeria’s State of
the Art”. This is because the state has seen more development and greater technologies under Ayade’s administration
than in any other state in Nigeria. Chief of Party, United States Agency for International Development (USAID),
Dr. Adams Saffer, disclosed this in an interview in Calabar after a summit on Public Private Dialogue on Agribusiness Enabling Environment in Cross River State held at the Pyramid Hotels, Calabar recently. Dr. Saffer stated: “The idea of the summit is to listen and find out what is on people’s minds, what they feel are the critical policy-related issues that need to be reformed in order to improve access to Markets, Access to inputs, Access to
Finance, Access to extension services because Cross River State has a tremendous opportunity to be a leading Agriculture”.

Dr. Saffer who congratulated the State Governor, Sir Ben Ayade for bringing more facilities to the state, said Cross River is on the right track with such a leader. Speaking on the performance of the summit, the USAID Chief of Party disclosed: “I think today was phenomenal, a lot of good issues were raised,” while also stressing the need to be
more transparent in communication between the Government and Private sectors. He also said that people raised the fact that Agribusiness is not getting the same priority as Agriculture or Production, and also the fact that the money spent by donors are not getting to the real farmers, and that he has seen all that before, assuring that they were working on the issues raised.

The summit is as a result of collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources and USAID with the theme: “Bridging the Policy Gap on Ease of Doing Agribusiness in Cross River State: Limitations and
Solutions for Regulatory Reform”. The summit which had about 60 percent private sector personnel and about 30 percent government representatives from various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), brainstormed on the Challenges, Opportunities and solutions affecting Agribusiness in the state. It would be recalled that the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources had in August this year held a summit and it is based on theidentified needs from the August meeting that the current summit was held. >>>

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