A former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has said his mango farm located in Howe village of Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State with capacity to employ at least 1000 personnel would in no distance time add value to the state’s economy. Obasanjo made the remarks while speaking to newsmen during a visit to the farm, named Obasanjo Farms Nigeria Limited. He said the mango plantation which has so far covered 20,000 hectares of land out of the 140,000 hectares, would start yielding fruits in the next four years.
The former president added that the farm currently has over 40 workers but has capacity to employ 1,000 personnel, stressing that the value addition it would have on the economy would be enormous with processing into various forms. He noted that the only way to conveniently develop and sustain Nigeria as a nation was to invest in the agricultural industry, emphasising that for Nigeria to achieve the desired development, the country must embrace agriculture given its vast arable land and attendant economic potentials. “In every state of Nigeria, whether an oil producing state or oil consuming state, we will all eat. Oil is a wasting asset. The oil you take from the ground today is gone and gone forever. But land where you produce food is a renewable resource. The land you use today, if you fertilize it, you can use it again and in fact, it will probably produce better. I must emphasize that in all states of the federation, there is no alternative to agriculture for our development and progress,” he said. On his part, Governor Samuel Ortom, who accompanied the former president to the farm, recalled his contributions to the development of agriculture in the country during his reign as Military Head of States through the Operation Feed the Nation programme. Ortom urged interested investors to take advantage of the rich agricultural potentials of the state and invest in it, adding that his administration is ever ready to provide the enabling environment to investors to add value to its economic development.
SOURCE: DAILY TRUST