Nigeria is fighting to get back to its reputation as a high producer and exporter of palm produce with many private plantations now going back to private investors. In Edo State, however, a local council does not want to be left out in the big palm rush.
The new chairman of Orhionmwon local government council, Okoro Ekogiawe Sylvester, has promised to boost the council’s palm oil plantation to 10,000 hectares to improve on the revenue base of the council.
Sylvester, who gave the hint in Abudu, the administrative headquarters of Orhionmwon, during an interactive session with some senior staff of the council also promised to secure 20,000 hectares of land for the cultivation of plantain, cassava, coco yam and maize.
He said the gesture was part of his administration priority to revamp the economic fortune of the council through sustainable agriculture.
He promised that the management of Presco Plc and Okomu oil Plc would be approached with a view to improving on the existing council palm oil plantation. He added that milling machines would be installed at the already existing council palm oil plantation in Abudu.
While noting that the locality is predominantly farmers, he added that the indigenes would be encouraged to be more focused in their farming, while government would provide the enabling environment.
He also added that investors would be encouraged to take advantage of the abandoned farmlands in the locality to invest in any area of the agricultural sector.
The council boss, who however warned that his administration would not tolerate idleness and laziness, noted that the only way for the council to be less dependent on the monthly allocation from the federal government is to invest in agriculture.
The boss also spoke about plans to boost massive cultivation of other cash and food crops as 20,000 hectares of cassava, maize, cocoyam and plantain.