Government plans N30b agro-industrial town in FCT
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, said the ministry was working in partnership with Aso Savings and Loans Plc for the development of 15,000 hectares of land in the Kwali Local Council to create a commercial hub for agribusiness in the FCT.
Ogbeh, while speaking with journalists in Abuja during a visit to the farm, said the ministry also intended to attract 3,000 youths in Abuja into agriculture, as well as big players in the agribusiness industry, adding that the model would be replicated in all the states.
He said a whooping N30 billion would be needed for the project for a period of three to four years, noting that some of the money would not come from the budget but from support funds, levies charged on wheat and that the private sector, both foreign and local, are expected to play a big role.
The minister said that vegetables would be cultivated for local and export purposes while rice and vegetable oil mills and shea butter processing plants would all be established on the farm.
He added that abattoir and poultry farms would be established and that there would also be banks on the farm.Meanwhile, Group Head, Specialised Assets Group, Aso Savings and Loans Plc, Enesi Makoju, said that the bank had already invested N500 million in the development of the land, including farm houses and dams for irrigation purposes.
He stated that 15,000 hectares of land were set aside by the FCT administration a few years back for the creation of farm settlement in the council, adding that the bank is the financial advisor to the developer of the project, Prime Soil Ltd.
Ogbeh said to ensure sustainability of projects, the Federal Government may formulate farm laws so that no regime would be able to throw away the policy of the previous one in agriculture.
He gave the assurance that the ministry would try to be equitable in the distribution of land for agricultural investors who would be interested in projects.