EKSG opens more farmlands for agribusiness investors
As parts of Dr Kayode Fayemi-led government efforts to encourage more investors' participation in agribusiness for employment generation and food and Economic sustainability, farmland clearings and preparations are on-going in all the farm settlements and centres across the state. During a monitoring inspection to some of the locations in Oye, Ikole and Ido-Osi local government areas, led by the General Manager of Fountain Agriculture and Marketing Agency, FAMA, Engr. Olugbenga Odesanmi, there were massive clearing and preparation of lands for planting of cassava, cotton, maize and other grains in all the centres. At the Osin Ekiti Farm Centre, 4 tractors were ploughing the field in preparation for maize and soya beans cultivation for Terra Agric Company.
The Osin Ekiti farm preparation, according to the Director of Agricultural Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Peter Akintunde, over 10,000 hectares of land have been ploughed, ready for harrowing and planting.
At Ipao, Iyemero and Gede Farm Centres, similar works were on-going with not less than 100,000 hectares of farmlands being prepared for maize and cassava cultivation, while clearing of primary and secondary forests in the centres were on course to be occupied by Arog Bio Agric., FMS Farms, Nigeria Cassava Growers Association, Nigeria Cotton Association and other private investors that have signified interest
in crops cultivation in the state.
Also at Orin Ekiti farm settlement, over 20,000 hectares have been ploughed out of the 50,000 proposed, while 4 tractors were on ground working to meet the deadline for the completion of the land preparation.At all the locations visited, the monitoring team leader, Engr Olugbenga Odesanmi advised the contractors handling the clearing and preparation projects to do thorough jobs as specified in their contract agreement with the state government for optimal agricultural yields at the end of the season.
Engr. Odesanmi who warned that shoddy works would not be accepted said that such would hamper productivity and discourage investors at re-investing their capitals into the venture in subsequent seasons. The team leader explained that the gesture was part of government determination to create conducive atmosphere for agro-based investments in the state, with a charge to the contractors to speed up actions for timely completion of the assignments to give room for the commencement of planting activities in the first week of August. Engr. Odesanmi, while commending the contractors for the job done so far, disclosed that the state government was targeting not less than 500,000 hectares of farmlands to be opened up for investors in the agricultural sector this planting season.
He called on the investing beneficiaries of the lands to make judicious use of them for job creation, food security and economic development to justify the huge capital investment of the state government in the project.