Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has promised that his administration will step up sensitization and awareness on the benefits of agribusiness to the economic development of the state.
The Governor made the promise on Tuesday at the conference hall of Benue Hotels, Makurdi during an: “agribusiness finance and investment summit for Benue State: challenges, opportunities and solutions,” organised by Feed The Future, a U.S. Government’s Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative.
While also promising to seek ways of accessing finances for the purpose of doing business, Ortom said in order to encourage access to finances by entrepreneurs and other categories of business operators, the cost of obtaining C of Os, which is used as collateral for accessing loans had been reduced by 50 percent to enable people of the state have access to loans for the purpose of doing business.
He explained that in distributing resources in the country, God had given Benue State the biggest share, which is food, hence the appellation ‘Food Basket of the Nation,’ stressing that everyone needs food to survive and so Benue people should take advantage of the opportunity.
The Governor harped on the need for Benue people to explore the opportunities presented by agribusiness by venturing into processing as well as buying and selling of agricultural produce, adding that others could process into semi-finished products for packaging and further processing.
While fielding questions from participants, Govenor Ortom identified training and use of improved seedlings as well as improved farming methods as ways to add value to the Agricultural sub-sector in the state.
He disclosed that the 50 tractors procured by the Benue State government would be distributed to the 23 local government areas of the state at a subsidised rate of 50 percent and be restricted for use in the particular local government alone, and warned that trespass would attract severe sanctions.
He expressed the determination of his administration to partner with Feed The Future for improved agricultural activities in the state, adding that land clearing would be done in strategic places for surrounding communities to cultivate crops for subsistence and commercial purposes.