Delta State establishes Agro-Industrial Park
Eme Offiong, Calabar
The Delta State Government has established the Agro-Industrial Park in Aboh-Ogwashi, Aniocha South Local Government Area for the economic transformation of the state
Mr Charles Aniagwu, the Commissioner for Information,, made the remarks during a tour of the of ongoing projects in the state.
Aniagwu said that the state governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa was strongly committed to growing a Delta economy not dependent on oil.
According to him, the Park would provide agro-processing value-chain services to farmers in the state.
“We have come here today to see for ourselves what we have done so far with respect to Delta Agro-Industrial Park. You have seen the location and we believe that by the time the park comes fully on stream, a number of our farmers will take advantage of the different factories and industries to be located in this industrial park for processing what they have,” the Commissioner said.
He averred due to lack of facilities to process certain crops before sales, farmers lose value for their produce, saying “I am glad that this industrial park will bring in additional value for our farmers when completed and inaugurated.”
Aniagwu hinted that the agro-industrial park would enhance the capacity of farmers, who would take advantage of the mechanisation as part of improving yield and adding value, hinting, “We are quite convinced that this park will soon take off.”
On funding for the project, Aniagwu disclosed that N8 billion was sourced from the Central Bank of Nigeria, noting that foreign partners were also expected to plough in resources to develop the park.
He said, “Companies are shutting down, but people must eat in the midst of this pandemic because we believe that this industrial park will be the next frontier for Delta State.”.
Also speaking during the tour, Professor Eric Eboh, the Chief Job Creation Officer, Delta State Bureau for Job Creation, said that the project was conceived as a one-stop-shop solution for farmers and industrialists.
Eboh further pointed out that the essence of the project was to provide a safe operating space for agro-allied industries and factories to process agricultural raw materials into edible or finished products.
“Lack of processing facilities is one of the missing links in the agricultural value-chain, so it is expected that this Agro-Industrial Park will be a game-changer for Delta and has great prospects for the turn-around of the agricultural economy of the state,’’ he added.
He explained that the multi-purpose agro-industrial park would accommodate processing of different agricultural products such as roots or tubers, grains, livestock and more.
“In terms of the potential impact, it is humongous – social, economic and developmental – to the agricultural value-chain of Delta. The benefits of the project were validated by national and international financing organizations,,” Eboh stated.
The Coordinator of the Project, Ran Yogev Sequoia Group, hinted that the site was 220 hectares and was selected because of its nearness to the Ogwashi-Uku Dam.
He added that the engineering, procurement and construction of the project were expected to be completed within 18 months.