NAMEL an Agricultural Mechanisation Company, a key participant at the Agribusiness/AgriTech Summit in Peterborough Signs an MoU with Cross River State, to Develop 12,000 Hectares of Farmland for Integrated Farming.

Deliverables: UK Trade, Investment and Agribusiness Summit/Fair 2024

In a significant move towards the commercialization of agriculture, the Cross River State Government has forged a partnership with the Nigeria Agricultural, Mechanization, and Equipment Leasing Company (NAMEL). This collaboration aims to develop 12,000 hectares of land across the state, starting with an initial 2,000 hectares in Odukpani Local Government Area as the first phase of the project.

Governor Otu's Vision for Agricultural Revolution According to Hon. Johnson Ebokpo, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Irrigation Development, this strategic initiative underscores Governor Otu's dedication to revolutionizing the state's agricultural sector and positioning it as a commercial hub for potential investors. Hon. Ebokpo, while signing the agreement in his office, described the partnership as a critical step towards enhancing the state's productivity. "We will be clearing 12,000 hectares of land, beginning with 2,000 hectares in Odukpani before moving on to other LGAs," stated Hon. Ebokpo. He praised the state governor for actualizing his long-term vision, rating the deal as one of the significant milestones achieved within the first year of his administration. Transforming Subsistence to Commercial Agriculture The project will see the partitioning of land into smallholder portions for farmers to engage in large-scale cultivation of crops such as maize, cassava, rice, cowpea, and cattle fodder. This initiative marks the state's gradual shift from subsistence to commercial agriculture. Highlighting the benefits, Hon. Ebokpo noted that the project will transform the landscape of host communities, promote infrastructural development, and generate revenue for the state and local government areas. He extended his gratitude to His Royal Highness, Etubom Justin Asuquo, and other representatives of Eki Odot and Ediong for providing the land, and he appealed for the cooperation of all parties to realize the governor's vision.

NAMEL's Role in Facilitating Mechanized Farming Dr. Ahmed Adekunle, the Chief Executive Officer of NAMEL, emphasized the company's capability to facilitate mechanized farming, addressing the challenges of land preparation and boosting productivity. He thanked the governor for entrusting NAMEL with this project and assured the host communities of the company's commitment to corporate social responsibilities. In an interview, Dr. Adekunle stressed the importance of large-scale farming, explaining that contiguous farmland makes it easier to fund, deliver extension services, invest, and achieve increased productivity. He announced that in the coming weeks, the company would commence the development of 500 hectares, with the Cross River State "Project Grow" already prepared to deploy farmers. Community and Institutional Support His Royal Highness, Etubom Justin Asuquo, representing the host communities in Odukpani LGA, assured of the communities' cooperation. "We have envisaged the benefits of the project for our community and our people. We assure you that we will work together as partners," he stated. The event also saw goodwill messages and commitments to the project from various dignitaries, including the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Emmanuel Ironbar (represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Dominic Ogbeche), State Project Director of Project Grow, Mr. Denis Ikpali, and Acting Programme Manager of Cross River State Agricultural Development Programme, Mr. Bassey Emogor. Representatives from financial institutions such as Magdalyn Wilson, Deputy Manager of Zenith Bank, and Linda Ogundu from United Bank for Africa, also pledged their support for the project.


Unlocking Agricultural Potential Mr. Ekpe Bassey, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation Development, expressed optimism that the project would unlock the agricultural potential of the state and create numerous opportunities for the sector. This partnership marks a significant milestone in Cross River State's journey towards agricultural commercialization, promising transformative benefits for the state's economy and its people. This was put together by Cater and Merger Consult