All is set for the evacuation of tonnes of maize to the market as participants in the Edo State governmentâ€™s farm settlement scheme in Sobe, Owan West Local Government Area, have commenced harvest.
The Public-Private Partnership initiative with Saro Agro Sciences Ltd., a leading company in agribusiness, was conceived by Governor Godwin Obaseki to create jobs for thousands of youths across the state.
According to Obaseki, the maize farm is part of his administrationâ€™sÂ accelerated agriculture initiative to boost job creation in the state,Â as between 50,000 to 80,000 agricultural jobs would be created before the end of the year in five local government areas.
Speaking at the inauguration of the farm in April this year, Obaseki said maize cultivation could directly empower several youths in agribusiness.
He explained that the first phase of the initiative targets job creation for 1,000 farmers through the cultivation of 5,000 hectares of maize farms across five local government areas of the state.
Â â€œToday is the first step towards actualising the 200,000 jobs promised by my administration. If we invest in agriculture, we can do more than 200,000 jobs in Edo and Nigeria as a whole,â€ he said.
The Group Managing Director of Saro AgroSciences, Mr Oluwole Adeyegbe, the technical partner for the project, explained that the scheme targeted a minimum of four metric tonnes of maize yield per hectare, which would be bought directly from the farmers.
He added that the company was also collaborating with the state government for the second phase of the initiative, which would feature the use of greenhouse as well as the Cocoa Yield Enhancement Programme.