Okowa laments food insufficiency, urges more investment in agriculture
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has raised concern over rising food insufficiency in the country and called for more investment in agricultural development to curb the trend.
Okowa, who spoke, at the weekend, after inspecting a multi-billion naira Agro Allied Industrial Palm Limited built on a 1,400 hectare of land owned by Akwukwu-Igbo, Ugbolu and Ilah communities in Oshimili North Local Council of the state, said that the oil palm production was one area that wealthy Deltans and indeed, Nigerians, could invest in to create job opportunities and economic development of the people.
The governor, who is vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said that the project, which is a joint venture between Norsworthy Farms and Agro Allied Industries Limited and the Delta State Government, had successfully planted over 250,000 oil palm trees.
Okowa said that he believed in the partnership because it would help the immediate community and the environment, adding that currently, no fewer than 300 workers are engaged on daily basis on the project.
Besides, he commended the management and members of staff of Norsworthy Farms, the Obi of Akwukwu-Igbo and the people of Illah for their support and co-operation towards the successful take-off of the project.
He also said that the construction of the 13.5 kilometres Ugbolu-Akwukwu-Igbo Road by his administration would enhance quick access to the farm for the economic development of the area.
Earlier, Managing Director of Norsworthy Farms and Allied Industries Limited, Dr. Gabriel Ogbechie, had thanked the governor for his support and vision for the project.
He said that the project was conceived about four years ago to contribute to the agricultural development and food sufficiency need of the country, adding that the company aims to expand further with the acquisition of additional 600 hectares of land at Ubulu-Uku in Aniocha South Local Council.
Also, Obi Azuka said he was elated with the recent development in his community, adding that this will create an avenue for employment and exposure to new ideas, especially for the youths in his community. He thanked the Norsworthy Farm and state government for the noble venture in his community.
Former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Dr. Ben Uwezu, who gave a brief history on how it all started, said agro allied industry limited project started four years back, which was a forest reserve that was converted into a farm by the state government via the ministry of environment.
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