The Linland Group, an Agricultural Consulting Firm, says it will provide 250,000 jobs in Ebonyi State through an integrated cassava project.
Mr Obi Ezenwa, the spokesperson for the firm, said this yesterday in Abakaliki when its management paid a courtesy call on Gov. Martin Elechi.
Ezenwa said that the investment would build a strong private cassava sector to ethanol enterprise with an integrated value-chain approach.
“The project would cost around N70 billion and would require the state providing 15,000 hectares for massive cassava cultivation.”
According to him, the process will ensure the production of 50 million litres of ethanol per annum for industrial purposes.
“We have inaugurated the Afro beverage company in Aba, Abia, through this process, with accompanying success stories.
“The company, which produces wines, spirits and fruit juice drinks among others, has 12 production lines and has provided 1,500 jobs.”
He noted that Ebonyi was the 16th largest cassava producing state in the country and said that the project had the potential of adding N7.9 billion to the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“We would involve indigenous farmers in the cultivation and other processes as we seek access to Federal Government’s incentives through the state government.
“We would work with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and other agencies responsible for the production of disease-free cassava species,” Ezenwa said.
Elechi, represented by his Deputy, Chief Dave Umahi, noted that such project, would be of interest to the state despite its huge financial commitment.
“I hereby direct the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) to constitute a committee that would travel to Aba to inspect the Afro Beverages factory and report back to the state government.
“We are happy to hear that the required 15,000 hectares would be scattered across the state, to ensure a smooth implementation of the project.”
In his remark, Chief Romanus Nwasum, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, said that the conducive environment provided for investors by the state government, had made them throng the state in droves.
PHCCIMA Reveals Plans To Move Association To Formal Sector
The President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA), Eze Mike Elechi, has revealed plans by the Rivers State Government to move Catfish and Allied Fish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFFAN) from informal to Formal sector of the economy.
Elechi revealed this during the monthly general meeting of the fish farmers association at the Chamber’s Secretariat in Port Harcourt recently.
He said the catfish sellers on the street, the fish smokers and the feed sellers are part of the Agriculture value chain.
According to him, the target was to get them registered as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the state under the supervision of the State Ministry of Commerce and PHCCIMA.
He also encouraged members of the association to ensure they get their businesses registered, pay their taxes and form a database.
This, he said, will enable them to access input and fund to assist them grow their businesses
He expressed optimism that each could employ at least two workers which will help in the reduction of unemployment in the state.
Earlier in his remark, the President of CAFFAN, Elder Clapton Ogolo, called on members of the Association to put more effort in their businesses.
”If government can give palliatives to Civil Servants and other set of people in the society, farmers will not be an exception”, he said.
Ogolo also assured his members of close collaboration with the Rivers State Government and bank of Industry in an attempt to assist them grow their businesses.
Highlight of the meeting was presentation by BOI Investment Manager, Mr. Uche Okonkwo.
By: King Onunwor
FCTA To Enhance Agricultural Productivity
The Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) says it will develop innovative strategies to enhance agricultural efficiency and productivity in the Federal Capital, Abuja.
Secretary of the secretariat, Mr Lawal Geidam, stated this in Abuja, after receiving briefs from different departments in the secretariat on their operations, achievements, and challenges.
Geidam said the secretariat would educate and equip residents, particularly the youths, with the necessary knowledge and skills to operate agriculture as a viable business.
“By imparting this knowledge, we hope to empower individuals to engage in agriculture as entrepreneurs, fostering economic growth, and creating employment opportunities in the process”, he said.
He emphasised the importance of synergy among the various departments of the secretariat to achieve the desired results.
The scribe explained that the briefs from the different departments had enabled him to have a comprehensive understanding of their roles and functions.
This, he said, would ensure effective coordination and alignment with common goals in line with the agricultural development agenda of the President Bola Tinubu-led administration.
According to him, the activities of the departments are interconnected, and their collective efforts are crucial in enhancing food production.
Geidam added that the working synergy would also help in transforming the agricultural sector into a significant source of employment and wealth creation for the growing population.
The Secretary noted that working in isolation would not lead to the desired outcomes, stressing the need for collaboration and cooperation among the departments.
“The activities of the departments are interwoven. All are geared towards not only boosting food production but making the sector a viable source of job and wealth creation for our teeming population.
“We cannot achieve this in isolation, all the departments must work in synergy to achieve this objective”, he said.
While expressing satisfaction on the progress recorded by the various departments so far, Geidam assured that the challenges were surmountable.
“All we need from you as civil servants is sincerity and diligence in doing your jobs”, he said.
Experts Chide Residents On Embracing Urban Farming
A former Commissioner for Youth and Social Development in Lagos State, Mr Agboola Dabiri, has urged residents of the state to embrace urban farming.
Dabiri said this at an agriculture empowerment programme organised by members of Ajowa Community Development Association (CDA) in Surulere area of Lagos State, in collaboration with Africanfarmer Mogaji, recently in Lagos.
According to him, embracing urban farming will increase and better their livelihood. adding, the empowerment programme is titled: “Farm and Profit”.
In his lecture titled, “Global Farming without Boundaries”, Dabiri said residents must begin to create space for farming in homes, balconies, compounds and garages.
He said agriculture was a huge value chain that included production, processing, marketing, distribution, packaging and many more.
Dabiri urged the residents to develop a passion in any of the value chains to better their lots.
“I don’t know the last time I bought lemon in Abuja. What I did was, I planted seeds in an old sack and that is what I have been using in my home.
“In Masha, here in Surulere, we have the biggest fruit farmers in Lagos. They are very organised and you can also join them by simply identifying where you belong.
“Also, in Surulere, we have one of the largest ram market and I am a member, because I also rear animals.
“You have to look at where you belong and explore all the potential in agriculture. During the last Ileya festival, I sold rams and I made profits, you too can do that. Agric is very profitable.
“I buy my ram myself; rear it myself and give it to my boys to sell during festival. I have already started rearing ram against next festival.
“Residents of Surulere must come together and see how they can promote urban farming and contribute to the food self-sufficiency of the state”.
He commended the Chairman of Ajowa CDA, Mr Tunji Adebayo, for organising empowerment programmes for members of his association.
Also speaking, Mr Africanfarmer Mogaji urged the people at the local government level to embrace agriculture in order to feed the nation.
Mogaji, in his presentation titled ‘Farm and Profit’, urged people in the urban area to embrace agriculture by way of processing, marketing, distribution, packaging and production.
He said majority of people in the South-West zone were consumers of agricultural produce and not generating enough income from agriculture, because of lack of understanding.
“There are lots of opportunities in agriculture that remain untapped and people need to look beyond farming”, he said.
In his remarks, Mr Suleimon Bamidele, Chairman, Surulere Local Government Area, lauded the CDA and the council’s support for continuation of the programme.
Bamidele, who was represented by Mr Abayomi Ambali, Senior Special Adviser to the Chairman on Agriculture, noted that the council would continue to promote and support agricultural policies.
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