The Edo State government has said it is making concerted efforts to promote agro-industrialisation through public-private partnerships, particularly in the cassava and oil palm sub-sectors.
State Governor, Godwin Obaseki disclosed this during a virtual meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Honourable Mary Beth Leonard, Other US government officials and some foreign and local agribusiness investors, on Thursday.
The meeting was held to further attract the commitment of the United States’ government towards the actualisation of its agro-industrialisation goal, as a means to an end to the manufacturing of high-value Consumer-Packaged Goods (CPG).
According to Obaseki, efforts to scale this project had begun in his first term in office, by instituting the framework for Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP).
In his remarks, he disclosed that his administration’s framework will attract more private investments in agriculture.
“At the sub-national tier of government, we focus on moving from lamenting to executing; we are focused on getting the job done.
“This paradigm shift in the establishment of the ESOPP will now include a move towards a renewed focus on Cassava Industrialisation Programme through our land administration and civil service reforms.
“We want to build the capacity of our people to attract private investments in agro-industrialisation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Obaseki also pledged the allocation of 5000 hectares of land to California-based agro-processing Firm, Fayus Inc.
He noted that the gesture was a way of encouraging the firm’s contribution to agro-investments in Edo, and Nigeria at large.
In his response, Chairman of Fayus, Inc, Mr Fatai Yusufu, pledged to contribute to the state government’s agro-industrialisation plans through the cassava and oil palm sub-sectors.
He stated that the company would extend the gesture to other ECOWAS states. The company would also invest $32 million in the Nigerian cassava value chain, he added.
He said, “Fayus, Inc. is committed to sustainable cassava supply chain infrastructure development and value creation in Nigeria to meet the company’s latent demand of 50,000 tonnes of High-Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) for in-country manufacturing of CPG in Nigeria and export to North American, European, and Australian markets.
“Fayus, Inc. plans to invest over $32 million in cassava value creation in Nigeria and an additional $18 million in Ghana and Togo, and has approached the USAID funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub (WATIH) for support.”
On her part, Amb. Leonard pledged to ensure an increased influx of US agribusiness investors, particularly in the oil palm and cassava value chains.