Daily Independent (Lagos) | Jun, 05 2011
Investors from South Korea have entered into discussions with the Ekiti State Government to invest in the agriculture sector in the state to the tune of about $400 million.
The proposed transformation of agriculture in the ‘Land of Honour’ which was code-named Green Wealth Agricultural Project (GWAP) is expected to generate not less than 25,000 jobs in the first year and help boost farm yield in the state.
The investors who were led by Mr. Kyungj Soo-Moon who is the chief executive officer of SYNCTOP International Limited held an interactive session with Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and other top officials of his administration at the weekend.
The project facilitator, Dr. Adebayo Adewusi, explained that the model had never been used in any part of Africa before now pointing out that it would focus more on graduates who would be engaged to produce for commercial purposes.
He explained that of the $400 million to be ploughed into the project, while 30,000 hectares of land would also be needed for the project.
Other features of the project according to Adewusi include farm settlements, health facilities for the participants and agriculture/farmers’ academy.
Soo-Moon noted that the project is aimed at poverty eradication, food security and job provision adding that a minimum of 125,000 jobs would be provided under the scheme in four years.
He added that the investors would hand over the project to the Ekiti State Government after three years of managing it, explaining further that the scheme is also expected to provide free construction materials as well as tools for rural farmers.
The Korean business executive disclosed that SYNCTOP would buy all agricultural produce generated from the project.
Responding, Governor Fayemi said his administration has always looked forward to this type of meeting on the exploitation of natural resources of the state noting that the business proposal has a semblance with administration’s plan for modern agriculture.
The state chief executive promised to set up a cabinet committee to study the proposal and look into its financial and legal implications.
He disclosed that the Ministries of Agriculture, Commerce and Industry, Job Creation Agency, Fountain Holdings Limited, would partner with SYNCTOP.
The governor believed that the coming of the Koreans would give room for skills transfer disclosing further that discussions are on with a Korean corporation, SAMSUNG, on ICT development in state-owned schools for skills acquisition.
Fayemi added that Southwest state governments are interested in a pan-regional economic development that would make the region the economic heartbeat of the country.