The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu has disclosed that his administration is committed to the development of the entire oil palm value chain, while inaugurating a 10,000-hectare commercial oil palm plantation owned by an indigenous Nigerian plantation investor, JB Farms Limited.
The governor inaugurated the plantation by planting the first oil palm tree on the farm in Ore, as he commended the investor for considering the state for such agribusiness project, adding that the state had gave out almost 70,000 hectares to about five or six of them investors.
On completion, the integrated mill is projected to employ no fewer than 10,000 direct and 30,000 indirect workers through the value chain. The farm will also pay a yearly royalty to the state government.
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Akeredolu noted that the state has comparative advantages in tree crops value chain and that his administration is committed to better the means of livelihood of the people of Ondo State through improving and multiplying the production of tree crops such as cocoa, oil palm, cashew, rubber and coffee.
The Managing Director and founder of JB Farms Limited, Mr Ajibola Bankole Adebutu, while eulogizing the governor for not underestimating his capacity as an indigenous player and for giving his firm an opportunity, explained that his company had reached out to two other states that didn’t show interest.
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“One fateful day last year, I had the opportunity to meet Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, and, I prepared all my speech and I sat in front of him and I gave the best of speech I have ever given in my life”.
When I finished all my stories, he said: ‘there is something wrong with your presentation,’ my heart sank and he said, ‘you are the one who wants to come and invest in my state, I should be the one begging you and not you begging me.’ Adebutu added.