Ogun State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Arewacotton Limited, an indigenous natural fibre company, to produce, process and market cotton in the state. The partnership is expected to empower 5,000 indigenous cotton farmers and their dependants and also engenders multiple investment opportunities estimated at billions of naira.
The MoU was signed between Governor Ibikunle Amosun represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Taiwo Adeoluwa, and the Chairman of Arewacotton, Professor Michael Olayiwole, at the Governor's Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta on Wednesday following the increasing market of cotton from local textile industries as well as exports.
Amosun reiterated the state government's determination towards developing the agriculture sector to enhance employment and income generation, said that there are so many benefits. Agriculture, with its value chain, is the third cardinal programme of this administration.
They have always not been in doubt that the only way to put more money in the pockets of their people and to tackle the restive and large youth unemployment is to develop agriculture. It would help them to keep their communities calm and ultimately it will improve their security initiatives.
The collaboration would boost productivity and foreign exchange earnings for the local farmers.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs Ronke Sokefun, disclosed that the MoU was geared towards cultivating 10,000 hectares of cotton farmland to be provided by the state government. But in the first instance, they are going to start by clearing a thousand hectare. At the maximum capacity, they will be producing 25,000 metric tonnes at 2.5 metric tonnes per hectare.
In fact, between 2017 and 2018, the processing mill which is called the ginnery would already come on stream. Their role is limited to land provision and mobilisation of the farmers.
Arewacotton Chairman said that they are delighted to announce that Ogun State is the first state in the South West region to collaborate with is in the spirit of the MoU that they signed with the Federal Government, although they have reached conclusive stages of signing MoUs with some other state governments.
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