Delta State Governor Moves To Diversify The State Economy Through Massive Investment In Agriculture

As part of moves to diversify the economy of Delta State by investing in the non oil sector, the state government led by His Excellency, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has distributed 550,000 improved breeds of palm seedlings  to 701 farmers in Ejeme-Unor, Aniocha South L.G.A, Delta State. He also promised to increase the yearly allocation to oil palm farmers to encourage them to grow the perennial crop.
The seedlings were churned out from palm nurseries located in Ejeme-Unor, Oleh and Arhagba Okpe all in Delta North, South and Central Senatorial Districts respectively.

The governor expressed optimism that each of the farmers will establish at least 5 hectares of oil palm farm with the seedlings. The state aims to grow a minimum of 15,000 hectares of palm plantation in the next six years through small and medium schemes. This will help boost the economy of the state which had largely depended on crude oil exports.
He said the initiative will restore the status of Delta State in oil production before the oil boom.

"This business is a win-win one for both the farmers and government and I want to assure you that every year, this project will witness higher allocation to encourage more production" he said.

The state ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources through the commissioner, Mr. Austin Chikezie announced that his ministry will assist the farmers with Steel Collar, Fertilizers and soft loans.

In a related development, Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa has also performed a ground breaking ceremony of 3,000 hectares Oil Palm Plantation.

"This farm which comprises 3,000 hectares Oil Palm Plantation, 10tons/hr palm oil mill, a palm oil refinery and a kernel crushing plant will no doubt, change the face of oil palm industry, not only in the state but in the country," he said.

The honourable member representing Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon Joan Onyemaechi Mrakpor is set to commission the completed
Palm Oil Processing Plant in the same community of Akwukwu Igbo, Oshimili North L.G.A.
The project, according to her is set to provide massive employment to the youths in Akwukwu-Igbo and her environs.

Arise-Africa team is yet to ascertain the governors position regarding the abandoned, existing palm oil plantations in the state. Recall that Ubulu-Uku Oil Palm Company, competed favourably with Ada Palm in Imo State to earn the defunct Bendel State huge amounts in foreign exchange.
Will the governor also move to restore the fortunes of OPC Ubulu-Uku?

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