ANAMBRA State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NKO Farms Ltd., in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation, Processing and Export.
The contract has a capacity size of N1.4 billion, as the investor would provide N1.7 billion over a 3-year development period, which translates into 75 per cent equity, as against the state’s 25 per cent.
It is for establishment of a 100 hectare yam farm and processing plant for production of yam tubers and processed yam flour for export.
Gov. Willie Obiano said at Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, that the MoU was the first on yam production that the state government signed on agriculture.
He noted that agriculture was one of his four pillars, geared toward improving food production and invariably creating food sufficiency in the state.
“The NKO Farms will bring to 43 MoUs signed on agriculture, making a total amount of $5.6 billion investment, only on agriculture, since my emergence at the helm of the administration.
“Out of the 43, eight companies are already on ground and 14 are in various stages of development.
“With this development, Anambra State will compete with Benue in yam production and will export to other countries,” Gov Obiano explained.
The governor also added that the establishment of the NKO Farms would not only promote food production, but create direct and indirect jobs for the youths.
He enjoined youths to embrace mechanised agriculture as the government had mapped out various measures to support them in different areas of production.
Chairman, Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA), Igwe Cyril Enweze emphasised that revenue sharing formula for the investment remained 83.5 per cent for investors, 13.5 per cent for the state, while 3.0 per cent would be for the host community.
Enweze stressed that investor would be expected to mobilise to site within 90 days of signing the MoU, saying noncompliance could lead to a revocation of land title, with land automatically reverting to the state.
The president as well as Chief Executive Officer, NKO Farms, Mrs Cordelia Udo, said the processed yam flour would be packaged in various sizes from 1kg to 10kg.
She said the products would be exported to Japan, Europe and America where the market share of Nigerian had progressively been improving.
Mrs Udo, who was represented by Managing Director of the company, Mr Chikwube Okwuonu noted that the project would be a state of art facilities with sophisticated processes and storages.
The CEO pointed out that the mission of the company was to sustain all year round production in order to surpass yam consumption across the nation.
“Within the first five years of our operation, we have plans to export 480 metric tons of yam tubers, 480 metric tons of processed yam flour and 240 metric tons of processed yam chips.
“The reason why 80 per cent of our products will go for export is that it will avail Anambra State Government and NKO Farms Ltd., the opportunity to scoop in revenues in hard currencies,” the CEO added.