The Edo state government has expressed openness to private investments in its agricultural sector via Public Private Partnership arrangement as part of efforts to diversify its revenue base and job creation prospects for its youth.
Godwin Obaseki, the governor who led top government officials on a study visit to Fregede Cassava Farms in Delta, said he was looking at strategies to replicate successful agricultural venture across the various local government councils.
“In the past, government used to do it on its own but today, the private sector has the capacity to do it and they are doing it more efficiently. The strategy we want to adopt is to encourage the private sector to be involved in agribusiness, partner with them and then use their knowledge to replicate several agriculture ventures across the state,’’ Obaseki said.
Based on data establishing 19 million hectares Edo land arable, the governor said it had mapped out communities where projects could be launched. “The essence is to create jobs and make raw materials available for industrial purposes,” the governor said.
He added that his administration would construct more link roads to farms and provide power supply to encourage the development of processing industries around farms and make the sector more viable to investors.
Marcus Cassava, the General Manager Fregene’s Farms pointed out that good agronomic practice was necessary to get high cassava yields, noting it was better to engage more hands on the farm to create jobs for youths and women.