Chevron partners Ondo in agric development
The project, which is in partnership with the state’s Wealth Creation Agency (WECA), was inaugurated at the state’s Agric Village, Ore, Odigbo Local Government Area.
Jeffery Ewing, Director, Deepwater and Production Sharing Contracts of Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited, said the project was one of the economic empowerment programmes of the organisation, designed to develop and encourage youths participation in agriculture.
Ewing, who was represented by the Area Manager, Policy Government and Public Affairs (PGPA), Mr. Esimaje Brikiun, explained that the programme was aimed at making agriculture and farming attractive to Nigerian youths, to make it a career and a business.
He said: “We believe the cassava project will have a tremendous impact on the youths in Ondo State through employment creation, poverty reduction, skill acquisition and livelihood improvement.”
He said the project would provide tremendous support for the development of local cottage industries, as well as, catalyse the growth of local industries in the state.
The Chevron boss disclosed that the oil company has also sponsored agro-based economic empowerment and development projects in Imo, Katsina and Niger states.
Programme Director of PIND, Dr. Dara Akala, noted that the 40 youths were selected to pilot the project in the state, and that they were projected to become a new class of farmers because, “our farmers are ageing, hence, the need to replace them with professionals.”
The state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, while launching the project, reiterated the commitment of his administration towards the development of agriculture and tackling youth unemployment through various agricultural initiatives.