By Nefishetu Yakubu
Benin, July 10, 2020 The Edo Government on Friday said it attracted over N29 billion private investment in the agricultural sector, targeted at oil palm and rubber plantation development.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Benin.
Osagie said that Gov. Godwin Obaseki’s vision to transform Edo into an investment hub in the last three years and seven months, had created an enabling environment for investors.
“The governor’s vision has made the state an investment destination for investors seeking to develop plantations.
“The key investors in the state’s private sector-led plantation development include Dufil Prima Foods and Rubber Estates Nigeria Ltd.
“Dufil Prima Foods will be investing US$600 million (N23.2 billion) in pursuit of its backward integration programme by setting up 17,954 hectares of oil palm plantation in 14 communities in Ovia North East Local Government Area of the state.
“The Rubber Estates Nigeria Ltd. is expending N5.1 billion in reviving the Urhonigbe Rubber Estate in Orionmwon Local Government Area which has created jobs and improved livelihood in the target and surrounding communities,” Osagie said
According to him, Dufil Prima Foods is committed to creating employment opportunities and reducing importation in the state.
“The company has undertaken a crop compensation exercise in the benefiting communities, which paves way for the oil palm plantation project that will include installation of an integrated palm oil mill.
“The next step after the compensation exercise is the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as well as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) mandatory assessment and development of nursery,” he added
The governor’s aide disclosed further that Rubber Estates planting operation would be in two phases, with the first phase covering 1,300 hectares and the second covering 1,000 hectares.
“About N5.1 billion will be invested in Urhonigbe Rubber Plantation and a total of 350 workers will be employed on the plantation.
“Other key investors in the state’s booming plantation farming sector include Nosak Group; Presco Plc and Okomu Plc, among others,” he said.