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We are working to make Kwara food hub of Nigeria – Commissioner



The Kwara State Government on Wednesday reiterated its readiness to make the state the food hub of the country.

Mrs Oloruntoyosi Thomas, the State’s Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said this when she hosted a delegation of China-Africa Economic and Trade Council and representative of the organised Private Sector in Ilorin.

The commissioner said the investors’ visit was a result of the state government’s investment drive in the agricultural sector.

According to her, the state government has earlier sent a delegation to China with some other Nigerians on policies reform and tax policies.

“The visit was to learn about various reforms the Peoples Republic of China had undergone, which have gotten them to where they are today,’’ she said.

Thomas said that Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, had directed the Ministry to share with the Chinese investors all the challenges facing the sector and bring them in with other relevant bodies.

She noted that the collaboration would go a long way in addressing the identified issues with a view to achieving sustainable development in the agricultural sector.

“The challenges included inputs, production, processing, market linkage as well as the entire value chain operations.

“On this note, the delegation decided to visit Rice Farmers at Shonga, Valentine Chicken, Rice Farmers at Lafiagi, Edu Local Government Area of the State.

“The delegation also visited the Industrial Park under construction, Fertilizer blending plant and the Rice Mill factory,’’ she said.

Earlier, Mr Zhensheng Li, leader of Chinese investors, said that the purpose of their visit to various sections of agricultural value chain was to know how best to solve the already identified challenges.

Li said the visit would also assist in addressing inputs, machines and other farm equipment to achieve efficient operations.

Also speaking, Mr Nicholas Igwe, representative of the organised private sector, said that the body was willing to support President Bola Tinubu and the Kwara government in their quest to transform the agricultural sector.

Igwe hinted that the body was already working in the six geopolitical zones and was ready to invest massively in order to bring sustainability, efficiency, and economic growth to the state and the nation at large.

Olayinka Owolewa

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