BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has unveiled windows for investment in the agricultural sector in the state, noting that a competent team has been set up to address investors’ queries and ensure a conducive environment for agribusiness.
Obaseki said the state will be focusing on investment in high value crops like oil palm, rubber, and cocoa; cassava, soybeans, fruits, and legumes.
The governor, who disclosed this in a chat with journalists, said that there are three teams in the state working to make investment in the agribusiness sector hassle-free.
Obaseki said the state has zeroed in on specific crops, where the state has comparative advantage, urging potential investors to request information on how their businesses can benefit from the master-plan being designed.
He explained that aside from going through the Special Adviser on Agriculture and the State Ministry of Agriculture, the state has set up a Private Partnership Office and a Business Bureau to attend to challenges confronting private investors as well as other agribusiness-related inquiries.
“In the area of agriculture, we have three teams working from different areas. First there is the special adviser on agriculture, Joe Okojie, who is a former commissioner for agriculture. Then there is the ministry of agriculture, with a commissioner and his team, and there is the Public Private Partnership office. We also have a business bureau so there are several points of entry where you can engage with us on the type of opportunities available,” he said.
He added that the state is “being mapped out to determine what commodities do well in Edo State. Fortunately, we have enough information and data, soil analysis, rainfall pattern, agronomic reports to help would-be investors have enough information to
make enlightened decisions on what to do.”
Obaseki explained that the state is “currently finalising the master plan on agriculture with specific reference to oil palm. We have an institution from Indonesia that is working with us on this. Once it is completed, we would have identified the areas where we want to allocate land for oil palm. We would have finalised communication with the communities in those areas.
On the focus on high value crops, the governor said, “Edo pineapples are the sweetest in this country. If you haven’t tasted it yet, try Edo Rose Pineapple and you won’t eat any other.”