BY Dikachi Elemba.
Imo State-based Ezelukwu Ventures Nigeria Limited, working with Nigeria Incentive Risk based System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and supported by Imo State Ministry of Agriculture, is putting finishing touches to an effort that will birth an integrated mechanised and scientific mandate farming process.
The aim is not only to boost food production and economic growth through the agricultural produce value chain, but to bring to the South East an agricultural revolution for industrial raw materials.
In going into this project to revolutionise agriculture in Imo State and by extension, South East, the company is looking to bring back the nearly forgotten “Farm Settlement Centres” in the state and produce agro-industrial raw materials to sustain dependent factories by providing raw materials for them.
In a working document seen by Business A. M., the company would encourage retired and serving civil servants who have no land to farm to invest in agriculture while “mandate farmers” will farm on their behalf, which Austin Nnodim, its chief executive officer confirmed.
It will also assist peasant farmers to form cluster cooperatives which would help them to obtain loans from NIRSAL plc and other agricultural financial institutions.
Nnodim said the vision is to make the state and the South East a large hallmark for the production of agro- industrial raw materials for local consumption and encourage other sectors like the pharmaceutical, brewery, paint, food and beverage, livestock, etc., to stay afloat.
The company is supported also by foreign partners who are also financial investors and experts in maintenance and farm construction engineering and processing.