In line with its industrialisation initiative aimed at decoupling the state from its dependence on federal allocation, Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has unveiled plans to commence the exportation of international standard chicken soon.
Accordingly, the state has taken delivery of ultra modern chicken processing plant equipment, ready for installation at the Ayade Industrial Park, even as the construction work for the largest feed mill and yellow maize farm in Obubra has reached an advanced stage.
Fielding questions from newsmen shortly after taking delivery of the equipment in Calabar, Ayade said in no distant time, Cross River State will be exporting chicken.
He said: “Today, Cross River is truly industrialised, preparing ourselves for the post-restructured Nigeria, and we are ready. What we have got here is a special system that will process, freeze and prepare chicken for export. It is very digital, modern and highly sophisticated which takes into consideration the bio-medical status of our chicken.”
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Explaining further on the sophistication of the new equipment, he stated: “If you have a chicken with any form of infection, the system will detect and remove the affected chicken in the course of processing, and that is why we have an internal conveyor system that tracks the health status of birds by taking the temperature and all the necessary quality attributes of every chicken before they are processed for export.
“The tradition in Nigeria is that people import frozen chickens that have been in deep freezer for so long, including preserving them with formalin and what have you, which is very dangerous and unacceptable, but, of course, that is what Africans get. Yet, we have large arable lands with over 23,000 square kilometres in Cross River alone, suitable for cultivation of all crops known to man.”
Ayade further said in order to meet the international best practice in terms of quality, “we have decided to go for world class. That is why we don’t have the McDonalds in Nigeria, because they have no guarantee about the quality of our chicken, and they cannot afford the agony and the difficulty in importing chickens which you know is on absolute ban.
“So, this gives us the opportunity, as a government, to create jobs through the instrumentality of the agro-industrial value chain, and I’m happy that, today, we have taken delivery of all this equipment to fast track the process of wealth and job creation.”
On the brand name, the governor disclosed: “Our brand is known as Cala-Chicka, so, we are having the Cala-Chicka chicken, from there we will establish Cala-chicka Kitchen. Our Kitchen is going to be a unique brand to be sited in Calabar, Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt.