The Edo State Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has teamed up with the World Bank and the Agence Francaise De Developpement (AFD) to launch a stakeholders sensitisation programme aimed at informing the Ugbengun Community in Esan Central L.G.A about project objectives and community obligations.
According to the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Stephen Idehenre, the sensitisation programme on Project Objectives and Community Obligations was initially a project of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Edo State Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (EdoMAFS) aimed at developing cluster farms across the state, particularly with crop enterprise that would attract end-users to the state. The commissioner added that the state government has re-strategized and re-engineered the programme to make it more attractive for investors, leading to the emergence of Premier Plantation.
He explained that the ministry will aggregate farmers across the state and act as the midwife between the investor and the people to ensure a smooth relationship and that both parties keep to the terms of the contract. Mr. Idehenre reiterated the state government’s focus on creating wealth for its citizens, assuring that the government is not taking over the land from communities.
The second arm of the contract involves the construction of the 7.9-kilometer Eguare Ugbegun – Ebudin Ugbegun road to ease the transportation of agricultural produce and create employment opportunities for the Ugbegun community.
In his address, HRH Zaiki S.I. Obade II JP, the Onoje of Ugbegun, pledged the full support of his Council of Chiefs and the residents of Ugbegun community. He appreciated the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, and prayed for the success of the laudable project sited in his community, which will benefit not only his people but also Edo residents at large.
Engr. Osazee Owara Obamwonyi, the Project Coordinator of the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project, Edo State (Edo RAAMP), commended the initiative of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration. He stated that RAAMP will construct marketing hubs to help curb the excesses of middlemen, allowing farmers to sell their crops at competitive prices. RAAMP will also build processing plants and storage facilities as part of its marketing component, and one of the pilot projects to be constructed by RAAMP is the 7.9-kilometer Eguare Ugbegun – Ebudin Ugbegun road, which has excited members of the community.
The event was attended by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Sunday Erhunmwonsere; the Project Manager, Premier Plantation Ltd, Mr. Boniface Iyengunmwena; the Director of Agricultural Services, Mr. David Ogunbor, and a host of Ugbegun Palace chiefs, among other invited guests.