A Saudi Investment Company, Zain Al-abdin group, is to set up an Agric City in Kwara State.
The proposed Agric City, which is to be located along the River Niger in Kwara North, will comprise a cluster of farms.
A statement released Tuesday by Muideen Akorede, Senior Special Assistant to the Kwara State Governor on Media and Communications, said the farms would specialise in cultivation, processing and export of rice, maize and vegetables.
The statement noted that the Chairman of the investment group, Zain Nafawi, disclosed this when he and other members of the group visited the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, last Friday at the Government House, Ilorin.
According to Mr. Nafawi, the Agric city will also contain facilities such as schools, hospitals, shops and other associated services.
The statement said that Mr. Nafawi noted that the project is a multimillion dollar investment, which will commence as soon as all paper work is completed.
“(Mr.) Nafawi said that the project has the backing of the Saudi Arabian government which is currently supporting Saudi investors to invest in agriculture across the world, especially Africa,” the statement said.
“He explained that the choice of Kwara for the project was because of its advances in large scale agricultural investment as demonstrated by Shonga farm initiative and its beneficial weather and arable land particularly along the belt of the River Niger.”
Responding, Governor Ahmed directed the officials of the state’s Ministry of Agriculture to meet with the investors to iron out modalities for the commencement of the project.
The governor welcomed the project and expressed delight at the intention of the Saudi businessmen to invest in Kwara State, which he said has a large population of young people who are hardworking and are available to work on the farms and to market the farm produce.
He further noted that the proposed investment is in line with the government’s plan to broaden the state’s economy, feed the people and provide feed stock for industries, the statement added.
Mr. Ahmed emphasized that the fact that oil-rich Saudi Arabia is encouraging its citizens to invest in agribusiness abroad demonstrates the timeliness of ongoing efforts to diversify the national economy through agriculture.
The governor, also, said the state has all the appropriate facilities including an airport as well as an incoming cargo terminal that has wet storage facilities.
“He assured that the government will continue to initiate policies and create enabling environment to attract investors and support businesses in the state,” the statement said.