Delta State Government has planned to boost the economic diversification of the State, by establishing and developing agro-industrial parks in the State.
The State Government; in a preliminary visit and project identification mission to the 10,000 hectares Cassava Farm at Abraka in Ethiope East Local Council and Mbiri Farm Settlement in Ika North East Local Council was recently undertaken by the various Stakeholders working towards the realization of the agro-industrial parks in Delta State.
Speaking during a meeting of the meeting in Abraka on Monday, the Chief Job Creation Officer, Prof. Eric Eboh, explained that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s vision for the state was to create job and wealth for unemployed Delta State youths, which is the crisscrossing thread of the SMART agenda, adding that the project will be executed by the State Government in collaboration with African Development Bank.
While emphasizing the State Government’s resolve to diversify the economy through agricultural transformation and agro-industrialisation, he disclosed that the Governor had on the 15th of February, 2016 inaugurated a working committee on Delta State Agro-Industrial Parks.
The Chief Job Creation Officer said that the committee is charged with the responsibility of working with relevant stakeholders to develop the blue print of agro-industrial parks to drive the agricultural value chain from agro processing and marketing links.
He added that the agro-industrial parks when completed would have dedicated
Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Austin Chikezie said that Union Dicon Salt PLC as a private sector investor has invested in the Cassava Farm at Abraka and is establishing a cassava mill in Umutu in Ukwuani Local Council of Delta State for the production of starch, ethanol and other by-products of cassava for industrial purposes.
The Commissioner added that the 10,000 hectares of land for cassava farming in addition to the already existing 400 hectares if adequately harnessed would create jobs and wealth for youths in the state.
The Head of AFDB Team and the Chief Agronomist, Dr. Patrick Agboma, commended the Managing Director of Union Dicon Salt PLC, for facilitating the collaboration between the State Government and the AFDB, describing the initiative as the private sector development partners, the Federal Government and the State Government coming into partnership for business.