Edo Attracts $531.2M Oil Palm Investment In Nine Months , Allocates Over 62,000 Hectares To Investors
…Targets 200,000 New Jobs, Distributes 21 Motorbikes To Extension Workers
The Edo State Government has attracted over $531 million in the last nine months to the oil palm sector through the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP).
Edo State Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Stephen Idehenre, disclosed this to journalists at the inauguration of FOARE Mushroom Production Centre and flag-off of the 2022 Farming Season in Benin City.
He said the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration has prioritized agriculture to ensure the realization of the Making Edo Great Again (MEGA) Agenda.
Idehenre noted, “So far, we have attracted investments valued at 531.2 million dollars in nine months to the oil palm sector alone via the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP). It was created to bring opportunities to large, medium and small-scale investors in the oil palm sub-sector with the goal of de-risking investments in agriculture.
“The programme approach involves the use of Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) Guidelines to engage communities in land allocation. A total of 62,500 hectares have been allocated to investors. The programme is expected to create over 200,000 jobs across the value chain.”
“We will add over 1,000,000 metrics tons to local production of Crude Palm Oil (CPO) by 2030,” the commissioner added.
He stated that the newly inaugurated production centre will create 50 direct and 200 indirect jobs, noting, “I thank the proponents of this venture for their commitment to the cause of supporting the government in wealth creation through innovative approaches such as this.
“I urge all, especially the farmers, to take the advantage of this event to interact with experts and major actors in the agricultural value chain to grow and increase productivity in their enterprise of interest.”
“We are distributing 21 motorbikes to frontline agriculture extension workers at this event to further strengthen extension service delivery and knowledge management. The state is making steady progress in the agriculture sphere, which will drive home the sector as a major economic pillar for job and wealth creation,” Idehenre said.
Earlier, the State Coordinator, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Wellington Omoragbon, hailed the government’s sustained collaboration and investment in the agric sector.
Omoragbon urged citizens to support the government’s programmes designed to accelerate food production, processing and marketing along the various agribusiness value chain.