The Governor of Cross River state Prof. Ben Ayade has inaugurated a multi sector driven Project Management Team (PMT) for the upcoming prime anchor scheme facilitated by the African giant, Dantata Foods and Allied Products Company Limited.
While inaugurating the PMT, the Governor who was represented by his Commissioner for Commerce Barr. (Mrs) Rosemary Achibong, said the scheme was initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria through the Zenith Bank Plc which will support fifteen thousand farmers for the production of rice, maize, and soya beans as well as aquaculture in Cross River State of Nigeria.
The team has representatives from the Ministries of Commerce and Agriculture of Cross River State respectively, the Development Finance Office of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the representatives of Zenith Bank, representatives of farmer groups and the Development Partners from the Feed the Future Agribusiness Activity of the United State Agency for International Development (USAID).
Under the scheme, Dantata Foods will engage fifteen thousand (15,000) farmers with at least one hectare of farmland each, for the production of specific crops from the next farming season. It is expected that each farmer could access up to two hundred and fifty thousand naira as a loan with a guaranteed off-take of his or her produce during harvest period.
This project tagged Cross River Empowerment Initiative is worth three billion, seven hundred and fifty million naira (N3,750b) and it is aimed at improving the livelihoods of small holder farmers and to create economic prosperity in the state through Agribusiness.
The CBN put it is as mandatory for all prime anchor schemes to setup Project Management Team with representatives from all key stakeholders before the approval of funds to the private investors through commercial banks
A statement signed by the General Manager Corporate Services Mr. Sanusi Bature quoted the Chairman of the company Alh. Tajuddeen Dantata during the inauguration ceremony in a virtual conference meeting, describing the event as a milestone achievement for the company and appreciated the CBN’s decision to promote private sector led Agribusiness interventions in Nigeria.