A $750 million farm with an initial investment of $300 million targeted at creating 25,000 direct and 60,000 indirect jobs, was, on Wednesday, unveiled in Benin, the Edo State capital.
Unveiling the project in a presentation to the Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the investor, Captain (Dr) Hosa Okunbo, explained that it had been his long time vision to venture into the project.
Okunbo, who introduced his technical and financial partners from the San Carlos Group in Mexico, explained that the farm, located at Odighi and Odiguetue in Ovia North-East Local Government Area, had already taken off with an $11 million 20-hectare Green House vegetables farm, which products would be exported overseas.
“I want to present to you what I call my vision, my legacy, something that I have been nurturing in the last four to five years. “Why this is very important to me is, as a pilot, I conquered my profession at the age of 30 and I left. I went into shipping. With over 60 vessels, I have conquered the sea.
“Now, I want to conquer the land before the land takes me,” Captain Okunbo told Governor Oshiomhole. According to the presentation, the farm is expected to produce cash and arable crops such as cocoa, pineapples, pawpaw, banana and Stevia.
Other products expected from the farm are livestock, including cattle, poultry and piggery, just as it will also engage in the production of tilapia- all targeted at export and meeting the protein and milk requirement of Nigerians. The farm also has plan for agro industrial park and airstrip to evacuate products to Europe and elsewhere.
Responding, Governor Oshiomhole, while commending Okunbo for the initiative, expressed his delight at the project, saying that “one way to help our communities is to create jobs.”
He said “for us, government is committed to supporting you. Captain, you can take that for granted. I am also happy to note from your presentation that it is a diversified farm.”
Oshiomhole told the Mexican partners that despite the country’s challenges, returns on investment in Nigeria were higher than elsewhere. The presentation was witnessed by Mr Segun Awolowo, Director-General, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC)
By Kede Aihie
Source: The Tribune