A $750 million farm project with an initial investment of $300 million targeted at creating 25,000 direct and 60,000 indirect jobs, has been unveiled in Benin, the Edo State capital.
Unveiling the project in a presentation to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, the investor, Capt. Hosa Okunbo, explained that it has been his dream vision to go into such project.
Okunbo, who introduced his Technical and Financial partners from the San Carlos Group in Mexico, explained that the farm, located at Odighi and Odiguetue in Ovia Northeast Local Government Area, has already taken off with an $11 million on a 20-hectare Green House vegetables farm. The products are to be exported.
He said: “I want to present to you what I call my vision, my legacy, something that I have been nurturing in the last four to five years.
“Why this is very important to me is, as a pilot I conquered my profession at the age of 30 and I left. I went into shipping. With over 60 vessels, I have conquered the sea.
“Now, I want to conquer the land before the land takes me.”
According to the presentation, the farm is expected to produce cash and arable crops such as cocoa, pineapples, pawpaw and banana.
Other products are livestocks, including cattle, poultry and piggery, just as it will also engaged in the production of tilapia – all targeted at export and meeting local protein and milk requirement.
The farm also has plan for Agro Industrial Park and Airstrip to evacuate products to Europe and elsewhere.
Responding, Oshiomhole commended Okunbo for the initiative and expressed his delight at the project, saying “one way to help our communities is how to create jobs”.
“The objective of Wells Farm complements the Federal Government’s policy on food security and jobs creation. I think you are on the right path and I am excited that you come from this state.
“Our government is committed to supporting you. Capt, you can take that for granted. I am also happy to note from your presentation that it is a diversified farm.”
Calling for encouragement of local investors, the governor explained that Edo State was planning to create a one-stop desk on issues relating to agriculture.
He told the Mexican partners that despite the country’s challenges, returns on investment in Nigeria were higher than elsewhere.