By Fatima Muraina & Adekola Afolabi
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has assured that his administration would address the capital flight occasioned by high demand of meat by residents of the state.
The Governor who described as mind- boggling, millions of naira the state is losing weekly on supply and consumption of beef and other meat sources from other States, observed that such money would have remained in the state to lubricate the economy for the benefit of the citizenry.
Akeredolu disclosed this while commissioning an ultra-modern Piggery Project at Ilutoro in Akure North Local Government Area of the state.
He added that his administration decided to encourage the production of a homegrown alternative in piggery and pig processing, so as to address the ugly trend of the capital flight leaving the state weekly on beef consumption, saying the project would create veritable means of employment and empowerment for the teeming youths, while dietary intake of lovers of pork would be greatly enhanced.
The Governor while declaring his administration’s readiness to construct the Ilutoro rural road as part of the 1000km road to be constructed in the state under the Rural Access Mobility Project (RAMP), also reemphasized that his administration is irrevocably committed to have the Sunshine State REDEEMED from poverty, hunger, insecurity and youth unemployment.
The piggery project is expected to employ 4, 000 youths and women if replicated in each of the 18 Local Government Areas of the state.
Other dignitaries present at the commissioning included the Deputy Governor, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa; the Secretary to the State Government, Princess Oladunni Odu; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Gbenga Ale; Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Donald Ojogo; Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Sir. Charles Titiloye; a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress(APC) Chief Olusola Oke; traditional rulers among others.
The Governor noted that the project would open up the rural areas for development as it was put in place to accentuate the different economic benefits in pig production and processing.
“Pig as we all know is very prolific, as such, rate of return on investment is high. This will undoubtedly translate to increased wealth for our farmers,” Akeredolu added.
He also listed some of the value initiatives of his administration which have culminated in the establishment of a number of agro-allied industries.
“Worthy of mention is the Sunshine Chocolate Factory at Alade-Idanre for value addition to cocoa. Our chocolate from Idanre is at the verge of hitting national and international markets.
“Not only that, Ethanol Processing Company at Okeluse is at the verge of completion, Ondo State, being the largest producer of cassava in the country is poised to supply the needed raw material. Furthermore, the Egg Powder Processing Factory at Emure-Ile in Owo Local Government and many others are all part of the initiatives of our administration to give value addition to curb produce in Ondo State”, the Governor stressed.
Earlier, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Agric and Agric business, Pastor Akin Olotu who disclosed that the Ultra Modern Piggery project would provide access to quality breeders stock, further said the project would also in a year, generate adequate manure (organic fertilizer) which could fertilize 250 hectares of vegetables to create empowerment for over 1,000 women.
According to Olotu, the project would be operated under the Public Private Partnership to produce quality pork that would meet international standard and acceptable worldwide.
The National State Manager of Big Dutchman, Mr Moses Makanju, in his comments described the project as first of its kind, and of European standard which can house over 1,000 pigs.
In his remarks, the State Chairman of Pig Farmers Association, Mr Francis Dasho applauded the Governor for making the project a reality, even as he assured all of sustainability of the project.