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Cross River to reclaim degraded lands with 6 new cocoa estates

Cross River to reclaim degraded lands with 6 new cocoa estates

Cross River State government has said that degraded areas of the state are to be restored.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Irrigation Development, Johnson Ebokpo, announced this during a critical stakeholders’ meeting.

He said the state government has initiated plans to establish six new cocoa farm estates in six local government areas of the state.

He said this is to ensure that degraded areas are restored through sustainable agro-forestry programmes.

He added that intercropping in such areas with shade trees will help to balance the ecosystem and preserve biodiversity.

He said the cocoa development would comply with the European Union Deforestation Regulation, EUDR.

Ebokpo said the development accounts for why the ministry was collaborating with the State Forestry Commission.

He further noted that as part of the programme, cocoa farms and allottees would be digitally enumerated immediately after a farm is identified and deemed suitable for ease of access to traceability information, which will ensure that living income premiums are paid to deserving farmers.

He said they were engaging stakeholders to acquire land for the establishment of the cocoa estates in Akamkpa, Akpabuyo, Bekwara, Odukpani, Obubra, and Ikom local government areas.

Ebokpo stressed the importance of stakeholders’ involvement to ensure the success of this initiative, which has been in the works for quite some time

He emphasised that the project will adopt a complete public-private partnership model where the government, in collaboration with the communities, facilitate the development of the new estates.

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