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Ekiti To Use Agriculture to Drive Industrialization and Achieve Economic Prosperity- Agric Commissioner Boluwade

The Ekiti State Government has said that it is deeply committed to actualizing its pledge of using Agriculture as a catalyst to achieve industrialization, food Security and economic prosperity.

The State Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Ebenezer Boluwade who made the pledge while featuring on Ekiti Loni/Ekiti Today, a live audience participation programme on Radio said the Oyebanji Administration had in the last 18 months put in deliberate efforts to transform agriculture from its current mainly subsistence nature to a mechanized one through the promotion of agribusiness, value chain addition in farming, aggressive free land clearing for communities and a tractorization scheme that is heavily subsidized for farmers as well as agribusiness and creation of investor friendly initiatives.

While stressing that the recent signing of a multimillion dollar Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by Governor Oyebanji with Cavista Holdings to establish a state-of-the-art cassava processing plant that will required farmland spanning 100,000 hectares within the State and its environ is a clear indication that the Governor’s efforts were yielding the required positive results, Boluwade stressed that with the favourable climate, abundant fertile arable land, willing and able-bodied youths available in the State coupled with the passion of the Governor Oyebanji to optimize the State agricultural assets, the State is on the path to economic prosperity.

He said as one of the States with the highest cassava yield in Nigeria, efforts were also in top gear to change the narrative of cassava cultivation in the State into an attractive business by finding ready market for the producers of the commodity for processing adding that cassava had gone beyond the normal food crop that was consumed locally to become a hot cake in the world market as over 100 derivatives including ethanol, cassava flour, starch, and chips are currently being manufactured from the commodity.

“Ekiti State is one of the highest producers of Cassava in Nigeria. The commodity grows well in every part of the State. With the market-led-transaction policy we are introducing, there will be ready market for the product. With our tractorization and cluster farming policies, cost of operations will be reduced for our farmers. Marketing of their products will also be easy”, the commissioner stated.

He said the Oyebanji Administration under the Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support Project (L-PRES) , a world bank sponsored programme is taking steps towards upgrading the old abattoir in Ado-Ekiti into a 21st century fully mechanized abattoir while efforts were also being geared towards supporting all segments of the livestock value chain including poultry, fishery farming, cattle ranching as well as goat and sheep rearing under the scheme.

The Commissioner disclosed that the State Government in collaboration with L-PRES was working towards the upgrading the State veterinary hospital in the State Capital into a center where certain veterinary diagnostic test can take place while veterinary clinics would be established in all 16 LGAs in the State.

Boluwade said though it has been relatively peaceful since the beginning of the year between the farmers and herders in the state, the State Government has been taking proactive steps to ensure the peace continues to reign through regular interface with the Miyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, All Famers Association of Nigeria(AFAN), the security agencies while the State Government recently recruited 300 Agro Marshals in the State to compliment the efforts of the Amotekun Corps and Anti Grazing Management Committee.

Speaking on rural roads, the commissioner disclosed that his ministry with the support from the State Fadama Programme had constructed over 80-kilometer-rural earth roads while the World Bank Assisted Rural Assess Agricultural Market (RAAMP) Project is expected to commence several rural road projects spread across the three senatorial projects in the State in the coming weeks

Boluwade said as part of efforts to attract youths into into commercial agriculture with short gestation period programmes like poultry broiler production and horticultural practices, the State Government would soon replicate the Erifun Hub,Ado-Ekiti in Ikole in Ekiti North Senatorial District and Ikere Ekiti in Ekiti South Senatorial district where youths will be successfully trained and empowered.

Posted in Ekiti State News Bulletin
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