Ebonyi State Government said it has started discussion with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for the certification of yam for export.
The Gov. David Umahi, who made the disclosure to journalists in Abakaliki, said the move was in line with the Federal Government’s efforts to boost yam export to the United Kingdom and the United States (U.S.)
According to him, when the certification is through, we will commence export of the yams immediately.
“Our yam is the biggest and sweetest in the whole country. I have discussed with the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development; we have agreed that the certification of our yam will be done. The moment that is done, by the next dry season, you will see containers of yams leaving Ebonyi State for export,’’ the governor said.
Umahi said the state would establish an equity investment law that would enable land owners benefit from foreign investment in the state.
“We will establish a law whereby if you want to take 5,000 hectares of land that you want to farm in as an investor, the farm owners will aggregate to form a cooperative society. The farm owners will become shareholders by reason of the percentage of the area the owners have on the hectare housing the investment. The law will be such that individual owners will have like 10 per cent equity of investment and the state will have 10 per cent as the constitutional owners of the land,’’ he said.
The governor explained that the law would no longer tolerate the previous business of employing only host community natives or paying tax to the government.
“I recommend this to the Federal Government too. Let investors come but let the owners of the place have equity in whatever business that will be set up on the land. Host communities should be part of the consideration in terms of benefits because their land is being damaged and de-possessed. If you didn’t damage the land, they should have used it to do other things within their reach,’’ Umahi said.