SWITZERLAND, JULY 8 – The Ekiti State Government has entered into a partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to empower 1,000 farmers in the state for commercial production of cassava.
The governor, represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Folorunsho Olabode said that the cassava production value chain would, apart from empowering the farmers, also help in propelling industrial development in the state.
He said that for the smooth take-off of the five-star Cassava Model Farming, the government had secured N1.9bn to prepare lands across various locations in the state to encourage farming.
He said, “The value chain in cassava is inestimable. It has over 50 products. Cassava has graduated from the famous garri to high-grade starch, syrup, flakes, fufu paste, cassava bread and biofuel. In fact, it has transformed into a golden crop that can transform any economy.”
According to him, Ekiti State played a prominent role in the formation of the Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Operation Amotekun to ward off the destruction of farmlands by marauding herders.
Alhaji Ganiyu Atobatele, the CBN Branch Controller in Ekiti State, described agriculture as the largest employer of labour in the country, said no effort must be spared to revamp the sector and return it as the mainstay of the economy, hence the bank’s partnership with the state government on cassava.
The National President of the Nigeria Cassava Growers Association, Pastor Segun Adewumi, said 25 tractors and other mechanised equipment had been mobilised to Ekiti to begin the scheme.