Delta Government on Tuesday said the ongoing construction of Agro-Industrial Park would render agro processing value chain services to farmers in the state.
The State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, disclosed this during an inspection tour of the project on Tuesday at Aboh Ogwashi-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area of the state.
He said that the project was a strong commitment of the Okowa administration to grow a Delta economy that is not oil dependent.
According to Aniagwu, Delta has been known for oil but we have also said that this is the time to move beyond oil and that it is not going to be mere rhetorics and we started first of all by ensuring that a number of Deltans are engaged through a number of skills.
“We have come here today to see for ourselves what we have done so far with respect to Delta Agro-Industrial Park, you have seen the location, and we believe that by the time the park comes fully on stream, that a number of our farmers who farm within the environment where this park is located and those who farm or grow their crops in different parts of the state will take advantage of the different factories and industries to be located in this industrial park for the purposes of processing what they have.
“Our people lose value of their produce, because of lack of processing facilities and am glad that this industrial park will bring in additional value for our farmers when it comes fully on stream.
“The park will also enhance the capacity of a number of farmers who will take advantage of the mechanisation that will take place here and we are quite convinced that this park will soon take off and it will take Delta far from what it used to be,” he said.
On funding for the project, Aniagwu said N8bn has been sourced from the CBN and the project partners are also coming in with their resources to develop the park.
“Companies are shutting down but people must eat in the midst of the pandemic but we believe that this industrial park will be the next frontier for Delta,” he stated.
On his part, Chief Job Creation Officer, Delta State Bureau for Job Creation Professor Eric Eboh noted that the project was well conceived to provide one stop shop solution to farmers and industrialists in the state.
Prof. Eboh stressed that the essence of the project was to provide a safe operating space for agro-allied industries and factories to process agricultural raw materials into edible or finished products.
“Lack of processing facilities is one of the missing link in the agricultural value chain so its expected that this Agro Industrial Park project will be a game-changer for Delta State.
“It is one of it’s kind in the country and it has great prospects for the turnaround of the agricultural economy of the state.
He said the park is a multi-purpose agro industrial park which will accommodate agro processing of different agricultural products whether root of tuber crops, grains, livestock among others.
“In terms of the potential impact, it is humongous both social, economic and developmental to the agricultural value chain of Delta.
“The benefits of the project has been validated by National and International Financing Organizations and we are confident that this project will stand the test of time even after Okowa’s exit as Governor,” he said.
Project Coordinator, Sequoia Group, Ran Yogev, said the project site entails 220 hectares and was selected because of the nearness to the Ogwashi-Uku Dam.
He added that the engineering, procurement and construction of the site was expected to be completed within 18 months.