WILLIE Obiano, governor of Anambra State, has promised to attract prominent investors into the agriculture sector. He stated this during his tour of Coched Farms in Anaku, Ayamelum Local Government Area on June 30, assuring that the State would soon attract more prominent investors in the agricultural sector.
Hinting that Dangote may soon join the array of prominent investors looking for a foothold in the agricultural sector of the state, Obiano also revealed that negotiations are going on with some consulting firms in the Netherlands and Australia for the construction of an irrigation project that would support a three-cycle planting season in the area.
According to him, the state will soon achieve food sufficiency in rice production and contribute significantly to efforts to reduce the rice supply deficit in the country. Governor Obiano made this declaration while inspecting the 300-hectare rice field belonging to Coched Farms Limited, a subsidiary of Coscharis Limited, in Anaku, Ayamelum LGA of the state.
Coched Farms Limited, which is the largest commercial farm in the state, has a total of 2,800 hectares of land for rice farming. There is also a lake there for irrigation.
After touring the farm, he observed that the project, a joint venture between the state government and Coched Farms, has within months of operation, put on ground significant efforts despite the enormous cost of clearing the land and creating access routes to all parts.
The governor, who noted that the state is at present producing 20,000 metric tonnes of rice against the 300,000 metric tonnes that is consumed in the state, creating a gap of 240,000 metric tonnes, added that when the farm becomes fully utilised, it could produce about 150,000 while the production by out-grower farmers was expected to overturn the remaining deficit.
He expressed delight that the project is presently employing over one hundred and fifty people of Anaku origin, adding that the government is fully exploring the potentials that abound in the state Agriculture sector to create abundant jobs and wealth creation opportunities for Ndi Anambra.
Stating that the state government was partnering Joseph’s Agro in a $200million rice project at Omasi in Ayamelum, he also urged other investors to key into the opportunities provided by the large expanse of arable land to invest in the state.
Cosmas Maduka, chairman, Coscharis Group, said his company was collaborating with out-growers who they were giving improved rice seedlings and who in turn, was expected to produce 50 percent of the total production target required by the Rice Mill it would be constructing soon. He added that when it operates at full capacity, the total land area of the farm would be 508 Square kilometres.
On his part, Bharat Dhir, general manager of the farm, explained that the farm was constructed according to international standards, while every part of the farm had been well irrigated to support full scale rice production.
— Jul 13, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT