In the state of Enugu, a multimillion-dollar direct investment in the cultivation of Kassava will begin.
This will be achieved through a partnership between a Nigerian company and a foreign investor.
A total of 11,000 hectares of cassava crops are targeted, in 22 places per 500 hectares per cluster farm in the state.
In announcing the Enugu Cassava Project in the state, chairman of Belform Commercial Agriculture Company Limited (BCACL), Mr. Martins Okvor hinted that the project was in partnership with Bimal Kishor Dhunna from the United Kingdom, his company and other local partners.
Okwor said that the project has already begun in Ikem, the district of the local council of Isi Ouzo, which aims to empower women and youth farmers with all the help in producing large quantities of cassava for local and export needs.
According to him, the project was intended for small and marginal farmers, ensuring that agriculture continues to be financially viable, using modern inclusive production services of farmers.
He said that the project was submitted to the state government, which expressed gratitude for the investments and showed willingness to offer all the support necessary for the actualization of the project.
Okwor said the company will fully develop the land and assign specific plots to local farmers; provide seedlings, equipment, expertise, management and training opportunities for farmers to optimize production.
He said: "This is a community-based project in which local farmers will be helped to increase productivity through a fully mechanized system.
It is aimed at young people and women to increase their potential and provide them with modern technologies and methods of agriculture for full-fledged commercial enterprises.
"Our main goal is to increase the production of food, earn income in rural areas, employment and produce currency by exporting processed cassava derivatives and other crops.
"BCACL will buy products from farmers at market prices for further processing and export.
This is a direct partnership with farmers, where they own farms, and the company facilitates production through direct assistance. "
He noted that investors play the role of "aggregator and supporters" and do not own or do not lease land or do not displace settlements or vulnerable groups in this project.
The Chairman stressed that the project envisages the release of a consistent, reliable and timely flow of cassava to markets, reducing losses after harvesting; promote the consolidation of products by farmers' cooperatives and investors.
"Over the past 15 years Belform Nigeria Ltd. actively participated in agriculture in the state of Enugu, which led to the creation of the first and only commercial cocoa plantation in Ikem. The cocoa project is an extension of opportunities for young people who are engaged in cocoa farming and other agricultural activities.
"We provide free seedlings, technical knowledge and finance, among other things, that were made by more than 50 young people who own different sizes of cocoa, plantain and banana plantations in the area," Okwor explained.