By OYEWALE ADEBAYO, LOKOJA
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has assured the people of Kogi State that the crop processing zone cited in the state would provide over 8,000 jobs for youths and farmers in the state.
Adesina, who disclosed this while handing over the cassava processing zone master plan of over 200 hectares of cassava plants to the state governor, Captain Idris Wada, at Alape in Kabba /Bunu local government area of Kogi State yesterday, stated that crop processing zone was in partnership with the federal government, state, Local governments and CARGIL Team.
He explained that CARGIL was a reputable agricultural expert who specialises in crop processing, noting that the team would establish a starch factory inn the state. He said the team is known all over the world.
The minister pointed out that Nigeria is the highest cassava producer in the world, stating that it was high time Nigeria farmers started benefitting from cassava production.
He said the country rakes in N1.2 billion every year from cassava processing for starch.
Adesina also said agriculture is no longer a development plan, but rather it is a very serious business, stating that when the agricultural agenda was launched in the state 2 years ago, about 40,00 farmers benefitted from the provision of seedling while over 128,000 benefited last year.
He said by the time the 14 crop processing zones are completed, the country would be raking in between N666 million and N1.4 trillion as revenue.
Captain Wada said by next year the state government would plant over 15,000 hectares of land in the state.
He said the government was happy to partner with the international farmers, the CARGIL Team.
He commended the federal government for choosing Kogi State for the pilot project, stressing that his government would not disappoint the federal government in respect of the the project.
He lauded the minister for what he called the wonderful things he had been doing for the state since the commencement of President Jonathan’s agricultural transformation agenda.