FG establishes two integrated farm projects in Edo

The Federal Government, through the Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority (BORBDA), on Sunday, launched two integrated farm projects in Okpe and Uneme Nekhua both in Akoko Edo Local Government Area of Edo as part of the agricultural transformation agenda of the government.

The integrated farm projects modelled after the Songhai farm in Porto Novo, Benin Republic, consisting of production, processing, research enterprises, integrated crops, fisheries, animal husbandry and marketing.

Speaking during the flag-off ceremony, the Managing Director of BORBDA, Mr Saliu Ahmed, said the establishment of the farms aimed at revamping the agricultural sector and to ensure national food security.

Ahmed said the two community would cultivate 100 hectares of farm each, adding that the integrated farm projects had following features: sales point, agro-forestry, market garden, feed mill, cassava and fruit juice processing units, abattoirs, biogas facility, a dormitory and lots more.

According to him, the farm projects would serve as a research and experimental hub for local farmers to learn new and productive methods of doing farm businesses.

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“The Okpe and Uneme Nekhua integrated farms have the potentials to significantly improve the local production of cassava and several other crops, animal feed, poultry, pig, fish production in an integrated manner that ensure nothing goes to waste.

“An improvement in the productivity of the smallholder farmers will translate to improved food security and standard of living in the host communities and beyond,” he said.

The managing director noted that the farms would restore hope and confidence between the communities and indigenes thereby making the youths of the communities major players in the nation’s economy.

“These farms are to be woven around the host communities and a first step towards achieving this will be the sponsorship of select youths of the communities for immersion training in Songhai farm in Porto Novo, Benin Republic.

“These projects which are currently at the clearing stage will benefit all and even generations to come. We therefore strongly advocate for total community ownership and participation,” he said.

The facilitator of the project, Peter Akpatason, who represents Akoko Edo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, said the projects were unique and formed part of the vision of the Federal Government to use agriculture for job creation.

Akpatason said that his decision to attract such projects was to encourage the people to take up agricultural activities to empower themselves.

“I decided to bring these projects to my constituent because it is a legacy project that would stand the test of time.”

“My advice for the people of my constituent is to make good use of the rare opportunities by embracing the project and support Benin-Owena River Basin to ensure the project is completed in due course,’’ he said.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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