No fewer than 1,000 cassava farmers in Ekiti state are to be empowered by the State Government, in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to ensure increased cultivation of the commodity in the state.
Governor Kayode Fayemi, represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Chief Folorunso Olabode, who spoke in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday during the inauguration of the cassava planting season, said the cassava production value chain would, apart from empowering the farmers, also help in propelling industrial development in the state.
He said the his administration had released over 6,000 hectares of land to Nigeria Cassava Growers Growers’ Association, Ekiti State Chapter.
According to him, in order to ensure the smooth take off of the five-star Cassava Model Farming, the government had secured N1.9bn to prepare lands across various locations in the state to encourage farming.
“The value chain in cassava is inestimable. It has over 50 products. Cassava has graduated from the famous garri to high grade starch, syrup, flakes, fufu paste, cassava bread and biofuel. In fact, it has transformed into a golden crop that can transform any economy,” Fayemi said.
Also speaking, The CBN Branch Controller in Ekiti State, Alhaji Ganiyu Atobatele, described agriculture as the largest employer of labour in the country.
Alh. Atobatele added that no effort must be spared to revamp the sector and return it as the mainstay of the economy, hence the bank’s partnership with the state government on cassava.