Ekiti State has attracted investments in the agriculture sector to the tune of US$300 million in the last three years even as the State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi yesterday boosted the sector with a credit facility of N80 million and tractors worth N100 million.
Speaking at the 2013 World Food Day held in Ado Ekiti, the Governor disclosed that the investments are from reputable indigenous and international agricultural institutions including Agricultural Company (AGCO) which has partnered with the state government for the establishment of 2000 hectares of mechanized rice, soybean, and cassava while New Vision Technology is establishing a $165 million agric city.
Fayemi added that Dutch Agricultural Development and Trading Company (DATCO) is working on the establishment of high quality cassava flour processing factory, Vegefresh has taken over moribund Orin cassava processing plant and has successfully upgraded the capacity of the plant from 10 tonnes to 60 tonnes per day production while others including Datlex, RENL, GIL, Arewa cotton, and Spectra among others have partnered with the State to actual use the vision of the present administration to make the state the food basket of the southwest Nigeria.
He stressed that the cheques being distributed and the tractors are targeted at intended beneficiaries whose operations will impact the agric sector, even as he stated the zero-tolerance of his government to non farmers who used to hijack the benefits and supports meant for genuine farmers.
While lauding the support of multilateral institutions including the World Bank, African Development Bank, UNDP, DFID and FAO for the various drives in the sector, the Governor noted that the Youth Commercial Agriculture Development (YCAD) programme has capacitated some 250 youths to cultivate 1900 hectares of cassava, 53,000 cocoa seedlings, 109,560 oil palm seedlings, 60,000 fingerlings, 6,230 kg of fish and 60,000 broilers.
Dr. Fayemi explained that the farmer empowerment activities of the state government through the National Programme for Food Security (NPFS), FADAMA3, and Rice expansion project continued to be sustained with thousands of beneficiaries.
He added that the FADAMA project has disbursed over N538 million to about 785 FADAMA users groups while the NPFS has disbursed about N84 million to its farmers in the 9 participating local government areas.
Governor Fayemi asserted that the establishment of the School of Commercial and Technical Agriculture is aimed at further strengthening the intellectual and innovative abilities of upcoming and practicing commercial farmers.
He disclosed that the ongoing construction of broiler processing facility at Erifun in Ado Ekiti which is first of its kind in the State will not only strengthen livestock value chain but also enhance the availability of hygienic ally prepared fresh chicken for the consumption of the citizenry.
At the event were the Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, speaker of the State House of Assembly, Dr Adewale Omirin, members of the State Executive Council, and farmers among others.
Last modified: October 17, 2013