BY BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO
LOKOJA – Kogi State Government said its proposed agricultural summit is in continuation of its commitment to agricultural revolution in the country which will turned the fortune of farmers around in the state.
The Managing Director, Agricultural Development Project, ADP, Mr. Oyisi Okatahi who announced this yesterday said the state government had declared emergency in the agricultural sector and has placed agriculture on the front burners of its economic prosperity plan.
“We attach great importance to the value chain and the multiplier effect agriculture can have on the economy of our dear state. In 2023, we want Kogi to become the food capital of Nigeria and this administration is working towards that.
“ADP is launching the “Fair Agric Project”, which is the vehicle to be used to implement His Excellency’s Agriculture vision for Kogi State. We are proposing an Agric Summit from 20th – 21st November 2017 titled “Agriculture: Investment Opportunities”. The summit is an opportunity to bring together all stakeholders namely Investors, Farmers, Sponsors, Academics and General Public to deliberate and create opportunities within the State.
“The deliverables of the summit is to create jobs within the state especially for youths and women. Income generation and trade balance. Bring in local and foreign investment opportunities, open up cluster farming centres across the state and ultimately to create wealth for the teaming population of the state.
“Today, Kogi is already the number one cassava producer in Nigeria and by extension number one in the world. This summit will help us consolidate on cassava production, rice, cashew and also to be number one for other crops such as soyabean and maize.
“Kogi State occupies a strategic position to lead agricultural development in Nigeria given its natural endowment of resources and confluence of the two major rivers with fertile alluvial soil deposits.”
Mr who urged the farmers to changed their mindset and make farming a real business deal said agriculture is the future for Nigeria, “Despite the challenges being faced in agriculture, significant growth potential still exist but will require external intervention from both government and private sector participants.
“Fair Agric Villages are villages that shall supply the entire value chain for agriculture which includes supply of inputs crop production, livestock, fisheries, infrastructure, technology, processing, marketing, credit system and for export.
“By the end of the summit we shall be able to facilitate with other appropriate authorities to grant investor’s conditional certificate of ownership (C of O) to develop Fair Agricultural Villages. This will be tied to performance milestones.”