Kogi BPPP, CrestAgro to prepare 5,000 hectares of land for cassava farmers
Mr Robert Achanya, Director-General, Kogi Bureau of Public Private Partnership (BPPP), says the Bureau will partner with Crest-Agro Products to clear 5,000 hectares of land for allocation to cassava farmers.
Achanya said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja on Wednesday.
He said that the collaboration was part of the state government’s plan to assist cassava out-growers in its efforts to promote agriculture as a business initiative.
He, however, said that the dearth of data on authentic farmers in the state might be a hindrance to the programme’s implementation, adding, however, that BPPP and other stakeholders were working hard to overcome the problem.
“Kogi State has over 47 agricultural products which include rice, beniseed, cashew, ginger and shear butter which can attract investors. We are also veering into rice production.
“The state government had procured four rice milling machines, one each to be installed at Ibaji Rice Processing Zone, State Agric Development Project (ADP), Koton Karfe/Girinya Rice Processing Zone, while the fourth will be given to the BPPP to manage,’’ he said.
Also speaking with NAN, Mr Dele Ogunlade, Managing Director of CrestAgro Products, an agro-products processing industry, confirmed the plans of BPPP to develop 5,000-hectare brownfield land for cassava outgrowers.
Ogunlade said that the partnership to assist cassava farmers would complement the 1,000 hectare-cassava plantation owned by his company at Akpata and the 500 hectares of land, already cleared at Uro, Adavi Local Government Area, to produce raw materials for its factory.
Mr Victor Adejoh, the Team Leader of Synergos Nigeria in the state, said that his organisation facilitated the partnership, adding that the 500 hectares of land at Uro would be allocated to farmers.
Adejoh said that women farmers’ cooperatives be given priority in the land allocation process in order to enhance the women’s access to land, inputs and credit facilities.
“However, the loans are not going to come directly to the farmers; they will come in form of farm inputs and payment for the various levels of farm mechanisation.
“The CrestAgro venture would be beneficial to smallholder farmers, as they would be able to have access to land, farm inputs and mechanisation.
“This, we believe, will change the mindset of most farmers by moving agriculture from subsistence farming to a business enterprise,’’ he said.