NAN – Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, on Thursday launched N16bn worth plantation exclusively for cultivation and processing of tomato and cassava in the state.
Speaking at the event in Anaku, Ayamelum Local Government Area, Obiano announced that the project was part of his administration’s agrarian revolution.
He said the state had opened its doors to agro-investors, who had since discovered what the state had to offer on investment.
Obiano said, “Today, we are on a different turf; Ekcel Farms is investing in cassava and tomato.
“It will produce over 150,000 tons of tomato puree.
“This investment is a blessing to the Omasi people in particular and to the state in general.
“It will attract 13,500 direct jobs and over 100,000 indirect jobs.”
The governor explained that the company would allocate five per cent of its annual profit to the host community, 10 per cent to the state government and another five per cent to the provision of amenities.
Earlier, Chairman of Ekcel Farms Ltd., Mr Emeka Okwuosa, said the company became interested in the state when it realised that the governor’s economic blueprint was not a political gimmick.
“It became obvious from the way he went about tackling the challenge of insecurity in the state.
“If Anambra were not secure, Ekcel Farms would not be here today,” Okwuosa said.
He said when fully operational, the farm would be producing 21,000 tons of cassava per annum, while it would produce 150,000 tons of raw tomato and 51,000 tons of tomato paste.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman of Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA), Mr Cyril Enweze, expressed optimism that the Ekcel Farms would attract more investors to the state.