Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Friday called for more investment in agriculture to tackle food shortages in the country.
Okowa, who made the call after an inspection of an oil palm plantation and refinery under construction in Akwukwu-Igbo, in the state’s North Oshimili Local Government Area, said the Oil palm production was one of the major areas that Nigerians should give priority attention to in an attempt to create jobs for the country’s many unemployed people.
He said: ‘Four years ago management at Norsworthy Farms told me about their launch and I thought it was a business worthy of having the support of the state government and in partnership with them to develop this oil palm plantation, now with a mill. already being installed.
“We have no doubt had some issues, but we thank God that our leadership team within the state government was able to walk around corners with the various communities involved.
“The place where we are now is quite interesting because we had the opportunity to tour the thousand four hundred hectares of land, all planted with oil palm seedlings that have grown so much; some are already producing.
“As a state government, we believe in this worthy partnership because beyond the fact that it will help grow the economy of this environment and also help the immediate communities that are here, we are very aware of the fact that it will generate a lot of jobs for our people.
“I have been told that on average 300 people work there daily and I think when the factory is operational we will have more people hired.
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“There are going to be a lot of multiplier effects and that’s what we want to achieve.
“In the partnership with Norsworthy, we are very aware of the job creation effect and the fact that they would pay taxes at some point, which would also help increase our internally generated revenue.
“The important thing is that I have spoken with the management of Norsworthy and they have assured me that over time they will encourage contracting schemes in this place and bring people from outside the community. to associate with them.
“This will help increase the funding available for families who are ready to partner on the farm. And this is the key point in the development of oil palm.
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