Korean investors lift Ekiti agric with N400m

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SYNCTOP International Ltd will buy all agricultural produce generated from the project.

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.

Original source: Daily Independent
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1 Comments


  1. Dr. Olaseinde Makanjuola Arigbede ---- USMEFAN
    13 Jun 2011

    This posting presents what would be better called: "South Korean Father Christmas Gift to Ekiti state of Nigeria." What else can one say in the face of this seeming unlimited largesse of the Koreans to Nigerians? It would seem that not having anything more profitable to do with money of the order of $400m, these generous Asians are committed to lifting Nigerians out of their misery, doing the job of the Ekiti government for it and asking for nothing in return! Can we be so credulous as to expect a capitalist state, from Asia, to deliver manna to a state in faraway Nigeria? Perhaps, the protagonists of this wonder programme have not fully revealed the programme to us, ?for fear of an outcry from the people whose land and sweat are being taken away from them. Is this a surreptitious so-called contract farming programme in which the Koreans pay the piper and dictate the tune? What precisely are the Koreans getting from this generosity ---- simply the right to buy ALL the produce from the projects? Who calls the shots in this programme, who provides the inputs for the planting programme, who sets the ground rules for participation in the programme, is this an agricultural counterpart of a DAEWOO vehicle Assembling plant (from completely knocked down parts)manufactured in Korea? The rosy presentation of this scheme leaves one with a surfeit of questions that refuse to go away, even when we stretch charity to its very limits. Will the benefactors be obliged to let any of the food produced by the Nigerian (Ekiti) cheap farm labour, be used to boost local food security? Obviously, even with the rosy presentation of the programme, it is clear that we must advise the state Governor Fayemi to be wary of what may turn out to be a Korean Trojan Horse whose innards might conceal terrible dangers, not only for the economy of the state but for the long term livelihood of the already beleaguered smallholder farmer and their presently unemployed daughters and sons. Of course, by embarking on such a programme, Food sovereignty, which the Governor should hold as extremely important, is already thrown out of the window. If the Koreans bring into the country, GM - crops whose long term impact on our agricultural patrimony could be devastating, who challenges them -- the recipient state administration or the already hoodwinked farmers? Perhaps the Governor and his advisers, where the latter are not simply out to make their own money and ship out, should consider, if the state actually needs a LOAN of such a whopping amount of money --- $400.00 million, whose interest rate no one has bothered to tell us about. We have no option but to conclude that this seeming FDI is yet another means of grabbing the land of one state in Nigeria, as a prelude to spreading the tentacles of the same octopus to many other states that feel left out of the largesse. Farmers organisations in Nigeria, including our own, USMEFAN, have a duty to seek to have a public discourse, located right in the communities of the state and amongst the smallholder farmers, with the government of the day in Ekiti state for clarification.

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