Cross River State Government has said it planned to generate $100million on annual basis into the coffers of the state government from proceeds which will acrue from the state cocoa processing factory set up by the administration of Prof. Ben Ayade in Ikom LGA of the state.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Prof Anthony Eneji, stated this during an assessment visit to the cocoa processing factory and the ultra-modern rice processing factory sited in both Ikom and Ogoja Local Government Area of the state as he again visited the factories where equipment were being installed ahead of the commissioning scheduled in the first quarter of next year.
The Commissioner expressed satisfaction with the progress of work currently on-going at project sites and also said that to ensure steady availability of cocoa for processing at the factory state government has begun the planting of seedlings/nursery to boost production which will feed the plant when the plant becomes fully operational.
The Governor’s aide said that through what state government called Cocoa Development Initiative government is going to produced 100,000 hectares of cocoa across the 14 local government areas in the state.
”It is a N100 billion project. Already, we have raised five million cocoa seedlings to ensure the plant does not run short of produce.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Managing Director of A.A. Universal Agro Industries Limited, handlers of the project, Chris Agara, who also spoke at te event said, “the installed capacity of this processing plant is between 40,000 to 60,000 tons. What we have here is a three-phase facility. The first phase is to clean and dry the cocoa for export, thus giving a lot of value to the beans that will be exported.”