The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Delta State is charged with the responsibility of managing and promoting agricultural and related natural resources to achieve effective production of food and raw materials to develop the industrial sector and export market with the effect of enhancing farm income and reducing poverty. The ministry also carries out the functions of inspecting produce and live-stock as well as engaging in veterinary services and special agricultural projects.
DEPARTMENTS AND PARASTATALS OF THE MINISTRY
The Ministry of Agriculture is divided into five departments which include:
The Ministry is further divided into the following Parastatals:
Delta Agricultural Development Programme:
This involves initiating special agricultural programmes whose purpose is to increase productivity as well as exposing farmers to new technology and agricultural methods.
2. Tree Crop Unit: This unit leverages on agricultural technology in the production of elite tree crop seedlings such as variants of oil palm, rubber, cashew, cocoa and coconut, to improve food production and provide raw materials for agro-allied industries. The unit is an integrated Forestry Consulting, Plantation Asset Management and Project Development Company established to improve productivity, enhance value, and maximize environmental benefits of forest plantations and other plant production systems.
The tree crop production unit has particular expertise in various areas of crop improvement including breeding, clonal propagation and biotechnology.
3. Tractor Hiring Unit: The unit is responsible for co-ordinating the directorate’s tractor hire services which assists farmers in mechanizing their farming activities at highly subsidized charges to increase in productivity. The agency has 9 tractor hire centres located in Asaba, Oleh, Oghara, Patani, Agbor, Agbarho, Kwale, Owanta and Abraka.
Government’s efforts to create a conducive investment climate in the state include the granting of loans to willing local investors to establish small and medium scale industries. A package of incentives for foreign investors is also available. These include capital allowance, tax holiday, relief and tariff protection.
A wide array of raw materials for agriculture and mineral based industries exist in the state, offering considerable investment opportunities. The raw materials from agriculture include oil palm, rubber, cassava, maize, fruits and vegetable. The possible areas for investments that will rely on agricultural raw materials include:
(a) Palm oil: Production of fatty oil used in paint and soap manufacture; production of palm wine for export trade to European market; and distilling of gin from raffia and oil palm wine.
(b) Rubber: Production of such items as belts, pipes, mats, auto accessories, shoe heels and soles, seal washers and bungs.
(c) Cassava: Production of industrial starch.
(d) Maize: Establishment of feed mills.
(e) Fruits and Vegetables: Processing for fruit juice and tomato puree.
(f) Fish: In fishing industries, opportunities exist for establishment of textile and equipment industry, manufacturing of fishing nets, boat building and canning industries.
(g) Timber: Projects for investment using timber include: the production of chip board or particle board, toilet rolls and corrugated boards for packaging, small toys, tooth picks, pegs, spoons, ice cream sticks and straw matting for packing. It also includes the production of pre fabricated housing units.