The Oasis Reporters
November 29, 2021
… factory to be supported by over 2000 smallholder farmers
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has tasked youths to embrace opportunities in the agriculture value chain by deploying innovative ideas to initiate and develop agribusiness projects.
Obaseki made the submission after commissioning a 5,400mt per annum cashew processing factory, along PZ Road in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The governor reassured that the government will support businesses in the state and create the enabling environment for them to thrive, assisting them reduce risks and ensure they make profits and advance their services in the state.
Obaseki noted, “This is the second or third time I will be commissioning a facility that is owned by a group of dynamic young men called Farmforte. About a year ago, I had the honour of opening one of their flagship stores in Lagos State and a remarkable architectural piece in Lekki where they sell only agricultural produce.”
Outlining the gains of commissioning the cashew factory in the state, the governor said, “First, you will recall that as a government, we said we are going to create jobs for our people and made it clear that it is not the government that creates the jobs but the private sector. But for them to create these jobs successfully, the government must support them, create the enabling environment and help them reduce risks to make profits and ensure that their businesses are sustainable”.
He continued: “Secondly, the government identified the areas the jobs will come from, and on top of the list is agriculture. We are very pleased with the bold step and initiative Farmforte has taken in the state.
“Thirdly, my administration will continue to encourage more investments in Edo State as investment does well here because it is a state of the progressives. Investments here are protected by the people themselves. I encourage younger men and women to come into agriculture as there are immense opportunities in the sector.”
According to him, “with the facility in the state, the government will encourage farmers in Edo North and other areas where cashew is grown to farm and harvest the fruits, while the nuts will be processed”.
Obaseki noted, “The key risk is to get enough cashew seeds. We would like to work with you as a government to encourage our farmers with improved seeds and off-take agreements to encourage them to cultivate and grow more. I would like to work with you to build capacity and encourage farmers to grow cash crops as you will give them a price for their produce.
“We want Edo to be number one when it comes to cashew production. It is just one of the many products that we will be supporting because it has an easy market. We are proud of what you are doing here in the state, as we encourage more young people to be enterprising. My administration is ready to continue to support you as you do your businesses and grow wealth”.
The Co-Chief Executive Officer, Farmforte, Mr. Osazuwa Osayi said the facility will produce 5,400 metric tons of cashew per annum, noting that the produce will be processed in the factory in Edo State and will positively affect between 2,000 to 3,000 smallholder farmers that grow cashew in the state.