While the Chief Job Creation Officer, Prof. Eric Eboh, signed on behalf of the State Government, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Dirk Hanekom, signed on behalf of Agri All Africa LTD, a South African company engaged in commercial farming.
Signing the MOU in his office on Monday 24th October 2016, the Chief Job Creation Officer, Prof. Eric Eboh, reaffirmed that agricultural growth and development is one of the cardinal agenda of the Governor Ifeanyi OKowa-led administration under the overall framework of the SMART Agenda as articulated in the Medium Term Development Plan of the State Government. He stated that agriculture has been assigned the role of job creation, wealth creation and economic diversification of the State from oil.
According to him, “We are confident that what we are doing today is an important step in the right direction. In many years to come, we shall be reaping from the seed that we are sowing today.”
He said the developing partner has the mandate to invest in commercial farming and to support contract grower projects for four agricultural commodities as maize, rice, cassava and vegetable as well as to carry out agronomic investigations and feasibility analysis and to develop business plans for investment in the value chains of rice, maize, cassava and vegetable. He added that Agric All Africa will seek and obtain the funding for the project and development of the value chain for the commodities.
He however said the State Government is to identify and facilitate access to arable lands for the cultivation of the commodities; siting of associated processing facilities, provide critical infrastructure in the identified farmlands including feeder roads and electricity; provide security and safety for the project activities.
Prof. Eboh expressed satisfaction that the State Government and Agri All Africa have voluntarily agreed to the terms by signing the MOU after a rigorous due process.
Responding, the Chief Executive Officer of Agri All Africa, Mr Dirk Hanekom, stated that his company practises agriculture on commercial basis and that they are investing in Delta State to help develop agricultural value chain in rice, maize, cassava and vegetable, in view of ensuring food security as well as creating job for Deltans.
On his part, the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Investment and the facilitator of the partnership, Mr Paul Nma, pointed out that the partnership would expose the State to investors in agriculture.
The signing of the MOU was witnessed by the Director-General, Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency, Chief Clement Ofuani and the Business Development Manager of Afri All Africa, Mr Stanley Winterbach among others.
The Office of the Chief Job Creation Officer was created as a special purpose vehicle for the actualisation of job and wealth creation under the S.M.A.R.T agenda. The job and wealth creation scheme has been tagged OkowaPlus.