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We ‘II use agric to drive industrialization —EKSG

By Fatima Muraina

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The Ekiti State Government has said that it is deeply committed to actualising its pledge of using agriculture as a catalyst to achieve industrialisation, food security and economic prosperity.

The State Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Ebenezer Boluwade who made the pledge while featuring a live audience participation programme on Radio in Ado-Ekiti, said the Oyebanji administration had, in the last 18 months, put in deliberate efforts to transform agriculture from its current mainly subsistence nature to a mechanised one.

He said this was done through the promotion of agribusiness, value chain addition in farming, aggressive free land clearing for communities and a tractorisation scheme, “ that is heavily subsidised for farmers as well as agribusiness and creation of investor friendly initiatives.”

While stressing that the recent signing of a multimillion dollar Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by Governor Oyebanji with Cavista Holdings to establish a state-of-the-art cassava processing plant that will require farmland spanning 100,000 hectares within the State and its environs, “ is a clear indication that the Governor’s efforts were yielding the required positive results.”

Boluwade stressed that with the favourable climate, abundant fertile arable land, willing and able-bodied youths available in the State coupled with the passion of the Governor Oyebanji to optimize the State agricultural assets, the State is on the path to economic prosperity.

He said as one of the states with the highest cassava yield in Nigeria, efforts are also in gear to change the narrative of cassava cultivation in the State into an attractive business by finding ready market for the producers of the commodity for processing.

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He added that cassava had gone beyond the normal food crop that was consumed locally to become a hot cake in the world market as over 100 derivatives including ethanol, cassava flour, starch, and chips are currently being manufactured from the commodity.

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