The automated rice seedling plant being built by the Cross River state government has the capacity to generate over N70 billion annually, the state governor, Ben Ayade, has said.
The plant is located at the popular Ayade Industrial Park in Calabar, the state capital and is expected to be completed next month.
Governor Ayade disclosed this when he took journalists to have a glimpse of the production processes at the plant, which is being managed by Chinese experts.
“The rice seedlings that will be produced from the factory will be called “Cala 77” and it is natural and totally organic,” the governor told the journalists.
He was optimistic that the state’s economy would soon record a giant leap with the expected generation of over N70 billion yearly from the state’s Rice City project, claiming that the Rice City will be largest and first of its kind in Africa.
According to him, the Rice City is one of the signature projects of his administration and is expected to be ready for commercial activities in June and called on the states and the federal government and other stakeholders to patronise the facility.
“When I told Cross Riverians that my ambition was to restructure the state from over dependence on federal allocation, I truly meant it because with projects like this; we are going to generate more revenue for the state…we are partnering with the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure that most of the seedlings are acquired from here,” Ayade said.
The governor said over 500 workers would be employed when the plant becomes operational.