Edo explores partnership with FCDO to propel agro sector growth
The Edo State government is making substantial effort at propelling its agro-sector to new heights, focusing on heightened productivity and sustainable practices.
This commitment has garnered the attention and support of vital development partners, all aligned with the state’s core objective of cultivating the sector’s growth, while ensuring its enduring viability on the global stage.
During a recent high-level meeting in the state, key representatives from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), British High Commission, Abuja, and Propcom+ gathered to deliberate on Edo State’s visionary agenda.
The Managing Director of Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), Mr Kelvin Uwaibi, unveiled the state’s strategic partnership with international development allies.
According to him, this alliance aims to beckon investments, particularly in the flourishing oil palm value chain and other vital commodities, ultimately diversifying the state’s revenue streams.
Uwaibi emphasised the state’s multifaceted approach to the sector, spotlighting oil palm as a linchpin.
“Edo State recognises the strategic imperative of diversification, incorporating additional commodities like cocoa, rubber and cassava. Other crop products like maize, rice are also being considered by the government in a move geared towards empowering smallholder farmers, facilitating quicker returns on their investments, while prioritising sustainability over mere business profitability,” he said.
On her part, Ms Martine Sobey, who led the FCDO delegation said the purpose of visiting Edo State is to bolster the agro-economy and value chain for enhanced productivity and climate resilience through sustainable forest management. “This multifaceted approach underscores FCDO’s broader engagement across Nigeria.”
Responding to inquiries regarding investor reception to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) stipulations for oil palm ventures and the related challenges, Uwaibi expressed optimism about burgeoning support from partners.
He highlighted the potential of a dynamic partnership with Propcom+ aimed at improving robust aftercare services to nurture investors post-engagement. Uwaibi underscored the pivotal role of a comprehensive corporate social responsibility guideline, envisioning Edo State as a pioneering model for sustainable business practices.
Team Lead, Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP), Mr Churchill Oboh, elaborated on the collaborative efforts between investors and ESOPP to inculcate optimal practices for sustainable oil palm cultivation.
He said, “ongoing training initiatives empower smallholder farmers with the knowledge and skills requisite for sustainable oil palm cultivation.”
He also noted that the need for broader purview of the Africa Sustainable Commodities Initiative (ASCI) in encouraging sustainable production across various commodities, with oil palm’s prominence standing out prominently in Edo State’s agricultural landscape.
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