Fayemi signs N3.5b agric MoU

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TRACKING____Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi has restated his administration’s resolve to use agriculture as a platform to diversify the state’s economy.

The move, he said, is to forestall the hard times which may arise because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The governor stressed the need for the state to convert its knowledge capacity to agricultural technology to achieve higher productivity and yield, as well as reduction in post-harvest losses which the state has suffered for years.

A statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Olayinka Oyebode, said Fayemi spoke when he signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Dutch agric investment group, Villam Agric Ltd, in Ado-Ekiti. The group is committing N3.5 billion into the project.

The governor explained that Ekiti used to be the cocoa capital of Nigeria, and hoped that with interventions from local and international agricultural concerns, the state would bounce back to its original position.

Read Also: Fayemi promises to pay salary, complete project

He assured the investors that all the resources they require for their activities, such as land, water and human capital, are available.

Fayemi said: “It’s time to convert our knowledge capacity to agric technology, higher productivity and yield, and reduce post-harvest losses that we have suffered for years. This is the time to do it as Nigeria confronts the challenges of the implications of Covid-19 on our oil…”

Managing Director of Villam Agric Ltd Rene Haveman stressed the importance of providing food to the people, especially during a crisis. He said large storage facilities like it is available in the state should not be left idle but made to benefit both the investor and the state.

Haveman urged farmers to increase their production during this planting season and ensure price conformity because his organisation plans to buy directly from farmers at attractive prices. He added that his organisation would upgrade the silos and by November set up a maize processing plant.

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