By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
The federal and Edo state government have concluded plans to cultivate 6,000 hectares of cashew farm.
The initiative to boost cashew production was reached through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The State Commissioner for Agricultural and Natural Resources, Monday Osaigbovo, gave the hint during the presentation of the activities and achievements of the ministry at the ongoing ministerial briefing in the Edo State House of Assembly.
Osaigbovo, noted that the partnership was under the Cashew Expansion Programme of the federal government.
He said six Local Governments which are Akoko-Edo, Etsako Central, Etsako East, Etsako West, Owan East and Owan West favorable for the production of the cash crop in the state have been mandated to solicit for the 6,000 hectares of land.
He also added that the ministry was collaborating with the Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria, Iyanomo to establish a rubber nursery in the state-owned college of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi.
The Commissioner said the programme is initiated by the Rubber Research Institute in partnership with the federal ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
He also disclosed that a total of 525 farmers benefited from the SEEFOR/FADAMA 111 programme collaboration projects in the state from January to date.
He also listed the beneficiaries to include FADAMA Community Association (FCA) and the FADAMA Ussrs Group (FUG), cooperatives in fisheries/fish farming, agro processing, crop science, poultry and piggery.
He stated that the state government was planning to revive the moribund Igarra cattle ranch under the Public-Private Partnership initiative with a view to sustain the ranch, generate employment and revenue.
Osaigbovo who said the state government has set up a committee to investigate the encroachment on the ranch, advised the government on way forward to revive it noted that the ranch had been abandoned by past governments due to over dependence on crude oil revenue.