From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
Proprietor of Orient Feed Mills and Farms, Mr. Godwin Ezeemo, has urged government at all levels to invest more in agriculture, as a way of fighting youth unemployment in Nigeria.
Ezeemo made the plea recently in Achalla, Umuchu, Aguata Local Government Area, Anambra State, while conducting agricultural experts from the Republic of Benin, led by Mr. Masline Howssou Yemaline, round his multi-million naira maize farm established on over 2000 hectares of land.
He said part of the reason for establishing and expanding the farm was to complement government efforts and contribute his own quota towards realising food sufficiency.
He said that the farm would boost food security, human capital development, increase government internally-generated revenue and encourage poverty reduction among the people.
Ezeemo noted that agriculture remained the remedy for youth unemployment in the country, adding that if well harnessed, it would create jobs more than the oil sector and attract further investment from local and international investors.
He disclosed that the vast arable land would produce corn that would be used in the production of feed for the 50,000 birds in his poultry farm.
Ezeemo, however, lamented lack of access road to the farm and urged the state government to assist him through the provision of a paved road. He also urged the federal government to assist him in the provision of power supply to encourage the growth of businesses in the country.
“We have the poultry where we can raise our old layers and broilers for meat. We also have the fishery. The corn will be a major constituent of the feed for the animals and we are planning to employ 3,000 youths when the place is fully operational.
“We chose corn for this land because it has been fallow for over 15 years and that is why we started constructing the three kilometre road down to this place. We are paving the road so that vehicles can pass through when it rains,” he said.
Ezeemo, who is also the Publisher, Orient Daily newspaper and a former governorship candidate of the Progressive People’s Assembly (PPA) in the state, regretted that several appeals made to the government of Anambra State for assistance had not yielded any results. He urged Governor Willie Obiano’s administration to come to his aid.
“I really need government assistance. What I have is fund that originates from an individual but if government comes in to construct this road, the money will now be used in expanding the farm and creating more jobs.
“I also want them to assist in constructing an access road across Orient Group office (Portal Business Park). The survey has been conducted but nothing has being done so far. We are incurring massive losses on that road. I’m confident that whatever comes out of the investments here will be for the good of the state because we are paying taxes from there.
“Therefore, I want government to intervene in asphalting the place as I’m an individual who is not suppose to spend a dime on road construction. But I am forced to do that so that our operations will not be stalemated.”
Ezeemo also called on both the Federal and state governments to make haste in stabilising power in the country, recalling that agriculture could not thrive without electricity.
The Farm Manager, Mr. Kenechukwu Ifemeje, stated that the farm would add value to the state and federal government efforts at encouraging agricultural production.
Speaking after being conducted round the farmland, Mr. Yemaline, an agro expert reiterated the need for governments to partner local farmers and investors in the agricultural sector to ensure food sufficiency and job creation.
He tasked the people of the state to invest in agricultural production while urging the government to provide the enabling environment to ensure the promotion of farming.