French investors eye C’River for Agro-Industrial Cultivation of Potatoes, Bamboo, others

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French investors, Yann Fortunato of Industriel Sylviculteur and Estelle Mougeot, President Links 4 Value have described Cross River as fertile for commercial-scale cultivation of bamboo and potatoes.

Speaking during a presentation at the Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office, Calabar, Fortunato said their interest in the state stems from the availability of bamboos in all parts of the state.

He also described the temperate climate conditions of the Obudu Cattle Ranch as perfect for commercial cultivation of potatoes.

According to Fortunato, a collaboration between the Cross River State Government and France will develop the value chain for Irish potatoes and bamboo.

The collaboration, he said, will lead to the establishment of a seed cultivation and multiplication factory to improve output for export.

On her part, Mougeot described Bamboo as “green steel” capable of boosting the economy of the state and cited Southern France as a veritable example of a bamboo-driven economy.

He said apart helping in the fight against climate change, bamboo is used for so many things, including making of chairs and tables.

Responding, the state governor, Sir Ben Ayade expressed delight at the visit of the French investors, saying Cross River was ready to collaborate with them in Agroforestry and commercial potatoes cultivation.

“Agroforestry is the way to go if we must safeguard our forest reserve. It is the answer to the massive deforestation of our forests.

“Cross River boasts of 58 per cent of Nigeria’s forest reserve and with the fast regenerative nature of bamboo, deforestation will be reduced because, with bamboo, we can make school chairs, tables, toothpicks, among others.

“I’m particularly thrilled by the term, ” green steel” as used by Mougeot”, he said.

The governor mandated Commissioners for Land and Agriculture to work with the visiting investors to ensure the realisation of the bamboo and potatoes cultivation projects.