Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Governor Obiano's Agro Revolution In Anambra State

Anambra’s rising profile as the haven for investments in sub-Saharan Africa actually began in May 2015 when the Coscharis Group made a massive entry into the state’s agricultural sector with $200m investment in a farm settlement, (the Coched Farms Project) in Anakau, Ayamelum Local Government Area. Since then, Anambra has continued to attract investors as the Obiano administration digs in to force through its reform programmes that are intended to lift the state up to its rightful position as the home of entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa.

Since the arrival of Coched Farms, other agro-investors have followed suit. Joseph Agro Limited, Ekcel Farms Limited had penned down a $150m agreement to take over the lucrative Omor Rice Mill and farm settlement while Ekcel Farms had signed in $100 million for the production of cassava and tomato in the state. Grains and Silos Limited has also signed another MoU valued at S11 million for a Silos project and finally, Delfarm/Songhai Farms have also moved in.

Other investors like Royal Farms and a host of others are all in line to move into Anambra. There are also talks about a high-level collaboration between the Anambra State Government and some agricultural authorities in Bangkok, Thailand, that will finally divvy up Governor Obiano’s promised agricultural revolution in Anambra State. The state has also attracted investments in the area of tourism with Cardinal Developers and Trust Limited leading the charge in that sector with a considerable financial outlay.

Right at the heart of the investment revolution in Anambra State is the pivotal role of the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA) which is staffed with seasoned investment bankers and financial experts. This agency has made the process of documentation and other otherwise tedious processes of doing business in Anambra State look like a walk in the park. This has encouraged prospective investors who are familiar with the huge markets and great human capital that Anambra has in abundance.

It would be recalled that flagging off this year’s farming season in a ceremony at Nteje, Oyi Local government in May this year, governor Obiano had firmly set the agenda for his agricultural revolution. Underscoring the importance of agriculture to Ndigbo in his speech at the event, Chief Obiano had recalled that “From time immemorial, our ancestors judged a man by the strength of his arm.
 A man who could not feed his family was regarded as an efulefu! A failure! That tells us how important farming and agriculture in general was and will always be to our people.” Setting his sight on the possibilities of Agriculture contributing at least 40% of the GDP of Anambra State, Governor Obiano declared, “this year, we shall force the doors of agricultural productivity open in Anambra State.”

While it may be too early to say that Obiano has forced the door of agricultural productivity open in Anambra State what is however not in doubt is the fact that he has forced the door of investments open to both local and foreign entrepreneurs. And Anambra State is the better for it.

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