…says agribusiness can drive Bayelsa’s development, employment
By Gabriel Ewepu
AS agriculture gradually takes centre stage in the Nigerian economy, an agribusiness firm, SWEER Global Farms, Friday, urged the Bayelsa State Government to collaborate with private sector for massive agribusiness investments in the State.
Speaking with Saturday Vanguard on the need for aggressive and holistic investments in food production, food security and employment generation in Bayelsa State, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Dr Thaddeaus Thompson, stated this while x-raying the vast agricultural potential of the State, which makes the State suitable for commercial and mechanized agriculture.
SWEER GLOBAL Farms is a consortium established near the Naval Base in Amassoma, Southern Ijaw Local Government, Bayelsa State, and currently investing heavily in agriculture and operating four massive farms: cassava for garri production (for local consumption and export), yam for pounded yam (for local consumption and export), plantain (for local consumption and export), and cucumber (for the local market).
It has employed over 40 direct and indirect workers in Bayelsa State, and also training farmers on modern agriculture, and its business model uses data visualization and risk management systems to increase output including business solutions for other agribusiness firms.
Thompson said: “We as investors do our due diligence on sectors or industries we intend to invest along various parameters based on facts and figures with critical analysis that enables us to arrive and conclude on how much we will invest.
“We are so glad that we made the right choice to invest heavily in Bayelsa State agricultural sector because there are enormous potentials in it that can galvanise the state into a full fledged agribusiness hub.
“The climate and environment are naturally made for mega rice cultivation, processing and milling, and this cultivation can take place in all parts of Bayelsa State, which already some people are into cultivating the commodity.
“Aquaculture is another value chain that can thrive very well if properly harnessed because the environment is naturally for fish habitation and breeding which also can be harvested and processed for local consumption and export.
“The land is naturally fertile for oil palm production, processing and milling, and this is a huge value chain yet to be tapped into with modern technology by investors including the State Government.
“We are currently into massive cassava production; from the farm to the farm-gate, which also we are for export. Also we are into commercial plantain, yam and cumber production in Bayelsa State as I have told you earlier.
“However, it is important the Bayelsa State Government collaborate with agribusiness firms in and outside the State that would explore the various agribusiness opportunities for hue investments. The government needs to consider that and act appropriately.
“If the State Government considers this in 2022 the issue of employment and development would be driven by the revenue these companies will bring to the State via their business operations, and that would also boost the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, because of this partnership deal.”
Meanwhile, the SWEER GLOBAL boss, also appealed to the State Government to create the enabling environment on ease of doing business and be ready to embrace new approaches in developing the agricultural sector, and added that SWEER GLOBAL Farms is ready to support effort of the Diri-led administration.