The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assured that the N100bn investment in the state’s oil palm sector by seven oil palm investors under the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP) Investors Group, will further strengthen the smallholder farmers’ scheme in the state, in furtherance of the government’s vision to make agriculture the mainstay of its economy.
Obaseki, who noted that smallholder farmers are key to the growth of the oil palm industry, said the state government is partnering with the ESOPP Investors Group to boost agricultural production in Edo State.
The governor, while speaking to journalists in Benin City, said his administration is committed to harnessing the state’s rich oil palm heritage, diversifying the local economy, creating jobs and increasing productivity in a sustainable manner.
Obaseki said the nearly N100bn investment will create over 200,000 jobs in Edo State as the investors plan to cultivate oil palm on over 100,000 hectares, adding, “we would be providing over 200,000 jobs at a minimum. It will make the state more competitive in the oil palm production business.”
He further reassured that his government will sustain reforms and policies to ensure an enabling environment to attract investors.
The governor added: “We will involve the local communities and sensitize them to ensure that they participate in the programme. The programme has been designed and smallholder farmers have been included and will come from our communities.
“Our focus is to ensure that Nigeria becomes self-sufficient in no distant time in oil production.”