Obaseki’s agric reforms: Urhonigbe Rubber Estate comes alive with N5bn investment, to cover 2300 hectares

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On the back of far-reaching reforms by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration in Edo State, the Rubber Estates Nigeria Limited is resuscitating the Urhonigbe Rubber Plantation with a N5.1b investment, bringing back to life the hitherto moribund agricultural asset.

Recall that Governor Obaseki in June 2018 planted the first tree for the new plantation project, setting off a chain of activities that saw to the resuscitation of the estate, which is located in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State.

In a statement, Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said the rubber estate is now taking shape in line with the state government’s resolve to return the state to the glory days of plantation farming.

According to him, “The Urhonigbe Rubber plantation is expected to create 350 jobs in the community, further strengthening the state government’s job creation strategy. At the moment, the rubber trees are considerably grown, raising the hope of youths in the community, who are being employed at the estate. The first phase will cover 1300 hectares while the second phase will cover 1000 hectares.”

“Already, we are making headway in promoting plantation farming with the expansion of farms owned by large agricultural companies in the state. This is just as the oil palm sector is getting a boost with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s investment of N69 billion into the Edo State Oil Palm Programme, a landmark programme that would open up the state’s industrial sector,” he said.

He noted that the state government’s agricultural programme was wholistic, catering for the key agriculture and agro-allied sectors that would spur growth and engender sustainable development.

Osagie noted that the plan was to maximise deforested land, helping to reforest some section of the land while converting the other sections to viable economic zones.