From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The First Lady of Edo State, Her Excellency, Betsy Obaseki, has lauded young people who are investing in Edo State, saying that they are demonstrating that they have the capacity to function as future leaders of the country.
Mrs Obaseki made the remark while inspecting the Farm Forte Food Valley, a one-thousand-hectare facility that comprises processing facilities for various crops such as rice, beans and sesame seeds, as well as on-site farms for the cultivation of some of the processed crops.
The facility is situated in Evbolekpen Community, off Ekekhuan Road, Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Mrs Obaseki, who was accompanied by the Country Director of United Nations Development Organization (UNIDO), Jean Bakole, said drawing from the #EndSars experience, young investors are blazing the trail, calling on others to emulate them.
The First Lady, who visited the company’s fully automated poultry farm, beans processing plant, sweet potato farm and storage facility, among others, commended the young promoter, Mr Osazuwa Osayi, for his vision and hard work to implement such a groundbreaking integrated agro-processing complex to meet both local food demand as well as for export, which will boost the Nigerian economy and improve the country’s GDP.
UNIDO Country Director Mr Bakole, in his remarks, commended Governor Godwin Obaseki for attracting the investment to Edo and the young entrepreneurs for their efforts at producing commodities that will meet export standards.
‘Whatever we produce in agriculture needs to meet the minimum quality standards; first, it must protect our local consumer; secondly, it must be ideal for the international consumer to whom we are going to export our products because our objective is to ensure that all products coming from this farm and from Nigeria are not rejected at the border simply because they don’t meet the minimum quality standards,’ he said.
‘I also like to commend the efforts of the Governor of Edo State, His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki, for attracting these projects to Edo State, which is the commercial hub of the region as well as a route to other parts of Nigeria.’
One of the Managing Partners of Farm Forte, Osazuwa Osayi, remarked: ‘We believe that growth in agriculture is two or three times more effective than any other sector in reducing extreme poverty and improving economic growth and also in ensuring food security. So, for us, we are using agriculture as a sector to drive economic development in the country and ultimately in the continent.’