Obaseki commits to hi-tech economic diversification in Edo

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The Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, has affirmed his government’s determination to initiate and implement policies targeted at boosting the agricultural sector and ensuring food security.

Obaseki while speaking to journalists in Benin City said in the last three years and eight months, his administration has embarked on programmes and reforms created an enabling environment for agricultural businesses to thrive such that more youths and investors could earn a living and create employment.

Obaseki said: “We so much believe that with increased investment in agriculture, we will be able to grow sufficient food to sustain food security in Edo State.

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“Agriculture is a productive venture, not just to feed ourselves, but its products are basic inputs in our industrialisation process. Cassava, for example, is a major input in starch production and ethanol energy.

“If we are thinking of diversifying our economy; if we are thinking of creating jobs; if we are thinking of creating a better life for our people, then we must not ignore agriculture. Countries like Malaysia developed their economy based on products like oil palm and rubber. In the past, we have been highly dependent on crude oil as a basis to earn revenue for the country but oil palm is more valuable than crude oil.”

He continued: “As for us here in Edo State, when we are talking about Making Edo Great Again (MEGA), we have to go back to where we are coming from. Edo used to be home for oil palm, rubber and timber and the people were wealthy for it

“For Edo to be great again, we have to go back to the land but in a more mechanised way; we are introducing new technologies, modern practices, improved financing and modern management into farming.

“We believe with the right investment, which we have started using in agriculture, we will be able to deal effectively with unemployment, bringing with it a whole lot of other opportunities. We will be able to create more industrial based products because we will have enough raw materials for agribusiness industries.”

“As a government, we will take advantage of the new order, which COVID-19 has caused. Our reforms have put Edo land under cultivation with varieties of products and provided us with the opportunity to employ the teeming population of the Edo people”, he added.