By Fatima Muraina
As part of efforts to ensure quality control and abide by the rules guiding produce processing, grading of cocoa and other produce commodities, Ondo State Government has reiterated its determination to continuously monitor activities in the produce sector of the economy for the benefit of everyone.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry, Mr Olayato Aribo made this known while on an oversight visit to some produce facilities in the Central and Southern Senatorial Districts of the state.
Speaking with the Management staff of Rubber Estate Nigeria limited in Araromi-Obu and Araromi-Ayesan Oil palm mill both in Odigbo Local Government Area of the State, the Commissioner appreciated the contributions of the companies to the economic development of the state in terms of revenue generation, employment opportunities and Cooperate Social Responsibilities among others.
The Commissioner who spoke through the Administrative Secretary of Forestry sub-sector of the Ministry, Mr. David Adesina, said the visit was to familiarise with the companies and to intimate them on the need to abide by the laid down rules, guiding their operations in tune with global best practices.
He stressed the need for the companies to be updating the Ministry on regular basis about their activities for record keeping; saying, as regulatory organ of government, the activities of the companies, such as total of graded produce within the state, numbers of produce brought in from another state and exported records among others should be known.
Responding, one of the Managing Directors of Araromi Rubber Estate, Mr Oliver Odokou said that the company will continue to cooperate with government and the host communities where the company is operating from, adding that they are in four states in Nigeria, Edo, Delta, Ogun and Ondo and the company has a factory only in Ondo State, where they are converting raw materials into semi finished product.
In the same vein, the General Manager of Araromi-Ayesan oil palm mill, Mr Sola Ikumawoyi said the ministry is one of the Ministries that has consistently shown interest in the company by their regular visits, assuring that the company will not take it for granted.
The General Manager appreciated the state Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, for the approval of 3,000 of 10,000 hectares of land needed by the company for planting of hybrid seedlings because the ones they are depending on now are too old.
He said the oil palm business is lucrative and capable of eradicating poverty especially at the grassroots because it requires more workforce and people would be engaged gainfully.