Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo says his administration will reposition the state as an agricultural hub of the nation that specialises in rubber, cocoa and oil palm production.
Obaseki said this on Wednesday, while planting the first rubber tree at the redeveloped Urhonigbe Rubber Plantation in Urhonigbe, Orhionmwon Local Government Area of the state.
He said that he was happy to champion the redevelopment of the rubber plantation which was established in 1952.
He thanked the management of Rubber Estate Nigeria Ltd. for investing about N5.1 billion in Urhonigbe Rubber Plantation, saying that the move would create employment opportunities for youths in the area.
The governor called on the company to partner with the Urhonigbe community, while entering into an agreement with it on the donation of more land for rubber cultivation so as to create more agripreneurs.
Obaseki pledged that his administration would reconstruct old roads and site a police post in the neighbourhood in order to open up the area for more economic activities.
Philippe Carty, the Managing Director of Rubber Estates Nigeria Ltd., commended the governor for his interest in the project.
He noted that the governor’s presence at the event also demonstrated of his commitment to boosting the agricultural development of the state.
Carty said that the rubber cultivation process would be carried out in two phases, adding that the first phase would cover 1,300 hectares, while the second would cover 1,000 hectares.
He said: “We will invest about N5.1 billion in Urhonigbe Rubber Plantation and a total of 350 workers will be employed in the plantation.”
Peter Osaretin, a community leader in Orhionmwon council area, thanked the governor for the visit and commended him for his performance in the last 18 months.
He, however, urged the governor to intervene in the boundary dispute between Urhonigbe Community in Edo and Umutu Community in Delta State.