The Ekiti State Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Olabode Adetoyi, says the state government has spent over 3 billion naira to clear about 40,000 hectares of lands in the state for investors.
The commissioner said this while explaining what the Ekiti State Governor, John Kayode Fayemi, is doing to boost agriculture in the state.
Adetoyi stated this last Tuesday while speaking at a plenary session at the Feed Nigeria Summit (FNS) 2020 organised by AgroNigeria and held at the Ladi Kwali Conference, Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja.
The session, tagged the Resilience Enhancement Session, had the theme: COVID-19: Profiting from Production to Consumption and Everything In-Between.
Feed Nigeria Summit, hosted annually by AgroNigeria, is famed as Nigeria’s foremost agricultural sector convocation aimed at catalyzing transformational progress for the country’s agriculture.
This year’s edition of the Summit, themed: Agribusiness: Leading Nigeria’s Recovery, was held on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 1st and 2nd, 2020.
At the Summit, while pointing out the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic on agriculture and its attendant challenges, the commissioner said that the Ekiti State Government has been preparing ahead through its special agro-processing zones.
He noted that while the state government was focusing on the development of rice, cassava and other value chain crops in the northern part of the state, Central Ekiti was being prepared for tree crops
The Agric Commissioner also said that the state government was giving tax holidays of up to three years, depending on the investment, to investors in addition to Certificates of Occupancy.
He also noted that the state government was partnering with the African Development Bank to build up rural infrastructural development to facilitate these processing zones.
Olabode said, “COVID-19 was an eye-opener; it showed that in every producing state, we are not producing enough in Nigeria. It also showed us that we are not taking care of food processing and preservation.
“It also helped us realise that even in the field, we still need more assets to enhance our production. This pandemic has thrown a challenge to every state to tackle these issues. Every governor is now tightening their belts to develop their state’s agriculture.
“In Ekiti State, we saw it coming. Dr John Kayode Fayemi, who is agriculture friendly, has carved out special processing zones in Central Ekiti which is good for rice, cassava and other value chain crops. Ekiti has allocated over 40,000 hectares of land to investors with no cost for clearing. We have spent N3 billion doing this.”
The Ekiti State Commissioner also proposed the farm-to-fork model for the agricultural sector, which implies direct involvement in the various processes of the food value chain from agricultural production to consumption.
“Covid-19 has thrown a challenge to us, and it showed us that there is hunger in the land. The solution is the farm-to-form model through special processing zones,” he said.
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