The Cross River state government has assured the people of the state that the proposed rice mill project in Ogoja, Ogoja Local Government Area, will be completed before the end of the year.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Professor Anthony Eneji, stated in Calabar on Wednesday that the rice farm project would function as a production source for Calabar Rice City.
“We are looking at owning our own product; that is, we raise our own rice seedlings and produce our own rice. Already, we are setting up a rice mill project at Ogoja; work is currently ongoing there and very soon, it will be completed. We think we can develop our own special rice seedlings through the rice city so we can produce seeds for our needs and sell to other states,’’ he said.
Citing the Commissioner, a special laboratory will be provided for grouping and examining the species of rice.
He also said that Cross River would be the biggest rice producers by the completion of the rice mill.
“Most of what is today known as Abakaliki Rice is produced in Cross River by our people, but because we do not have a functional rice mill; they take our paddy rice to Ebonyi State and call it Abakaliki Rice.
“All that will soon stop as soon as we complete the rice mill. The mill will accommodate farmers from the northern part of the state as well as some farmers from the Central Senatorial Zone,” he said.
There was an earth-shattering celebration of the Calabar Rice project performed by the Acting President Yemi Osibanjo when he recently visited the state for three days.