... effort to achieve food self-sufficiency, diversify Nigeria’s economy
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his administration is ready to export its revolutionary oil palm estate development experience to neighbouring States, including Abia, Ondo and Delta, in an effort to boost food self-sufficiency and diversify Nigeria's economy.
Obaseki said this while inspecting Saro Oil Palm Limited to assess the level of progress on the development of an oil palm estate in Urhonigbe, Orhionmwon Local Government Area (LGA), Edo State.
The governor also inspected Greenhill Agricultural Product Limited, an ethanol processing plant in Ologbo, Ikpoba Okha LGA in the State.
The governor was accompanied on the inspection tour by the Commissioner for Road and Bridges, Hon. Osaze Uzamere; Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Hon. Stephen Idehenre; Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Hon. Joshua Omokhodion; Special Adviser, Political (Edo South) Hon. Uwa Osunbor and other top government functionaries
Obaseki, who expressed satisfaction with the pace of work, said he hopes to replicate the same feat with yam, cassava and other crops, noting that the effort will enable the State and the country to become self-sufficient in food production and supply.
“We are talking to neighbouring States in the oil palm belt. After next year, Edo will not have any more land for additional oil palm cultivation. So, we are preparing our investors to go to other states and help our partner states to set up similar systems, processes and show them how we succeeded.”
He continued: “I spoke with the Abia State Governor at the NEC meeting and he said his teams will be in Edo in about a month or two to begin to work with us in the area of oil palm cultivation. I am in talks with the Ondo State Government and soon will be talking to Delta State Government.
“With what is going on in the Nigerian economy today, Edo has started diversifying its economy. At this rate in another decade, Nigeria will have no business importing edible fats into this country because we would have more than enough edible fats from oil palm products.”
Narrating the progress with the state’s oil palm programme, he said: “The success in oil palm estate development has led to large-scale estate farming. It is possible and we have started a revolution of mechanized farming in Edo using our own people – Nigerian companies and farmers, not expatriates. We have cultivated huge farmlands using a world-class management system.
“This will be quickly replicated in other crops like yam and cassava. Very soon, we will become self-sufficient in food production. We will soon stop importing food. We have the land, materials and expertise to produce everything we consume and even export our products to other markets. Our experiment is working.”