Category: Agriculture

Bayelsa Showcases Agric Potential as Diri, Udom Flag-off Maiden Dry Season Farming

As part of the second anniversary of the Governor Douye Diri administration, Bayelsa State, on Friday, showcased some of its agricultural endowments.

Various farm produce and processed food were displayed at an event tagged: “Made in Bayelsa Agric Product Exhibition” held at the Peace Park in Yenagoa.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chief David Alagoa, conducted Governor Diri and his Akwa Ibom State counterpart, Governor Emmanuel Udom, round the stands where different products were displayed.

Alagoa said the state was endowed with agricultural potential that are capable of driving its economy when properly harnessed.

According to him, the state is already producing fish feed from rice bran and palm kernel cake and other byproducts.

He advised Bayelsans to go into agriculture as it is a major source of revenue the world over.

Alagoa said: “One of the things that make up the feeds is the rice bran but nobody is compounding the feeds here. We rather go outside, which does not have 80% of the products in their states.

“What makes the rice bran is palm kernel cake and maize, all from this state. Then you have pockets of soya and groundnuts, which we can also plant in this state. We have the capacity to have almost 90 per cent. The only thing that can come from outside are the vitamins. Even the protein that comes from the fish feeds.

“Bayelsa is richly endowed and we should all try and do something in agriculture.

“By 2030, the size of food and agriculture business in Africa will reach $1 trillion. So if you are thinking on how to make money, this is the sector to be in.”

Alagoa disclosed that rice farms have been established at Akassa, Ogbia, and Yenagoa.

Different items exhibited include palm oil, sea food, rice, ogbono, sugar cane juice, creams and disinfectants.

Also showcased were vegetables, mushrooms, fresh water and salt water fish, among others.

Earlier, Governors Diri and Udom flagged off the maiden dry season farming in the state at Otuasega community in Ogbia Local Government Area. 

The Bayelsa governor said his administration has prioritized agricultural development to diversify the state’s economy and ensure food security.

Diri said his government was focusing on rice, cassava, banana, yam, maize, plantain and fisheries production and exploring the processing and marketing the entire value chain.

He also stated that the government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a consortium of companies under the African Atlantic Gulf of Guinea Fisheries Limited.

He said the deal when operational would generate 4,000 jobs, train 2,500 youths in fish farming and establish a boat building yard as well as fish processing plant of over 20,000 metric tonnes capacity.

He disclosed that the cassava processing factory at Ebedebiri in Sagbama local government area would also become functional in about three months.

Diri noted that in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria, the state government has installed rice mills at the state-owned Niger Delta University, Amassoma, and Federal University, Otuoke as well as provided seedlings to 2,500 farmers in all the eight local government areas.

He said: “Agriculture is one of the pillars of my administration to diversify and remove our people’s focus from oil and gas and encourage them in food production.

“I therefore call on our people, particularly civil servants and political appointees, to return to fishing and farming on a commercial scale for local consumption and export in order to earn good money.”

In his remarks, Governor Emmanuel described Diri as a selfless and pragmatic leader that has demonstrated leadership within two years in office.

He said he is happy to identify with Diri’s laudable projects and his effort to ensure food sufficiency.

“We cannot continue to rely on proceeds from oil and we need to lay a solid foundation to jumpstart our economy,” he said.

Speaking, Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency represented by the state coordinator, Mr. Thickman Tanimu, said his agency has flagged off the distribution of agricultural inputs such as herbicides, rice, yam and other seedlings to victims of the 2020 flood in all the local government areas.

Daniel Alabrah 
Chief Press Secretary 
to the Bayelsa State Governor

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Envoy Assures On Korean Investments In Bayelsa

South Korea Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Kim Young-Chae, has said that Korean companies would invest in the agricultural sector of Bayelsa State and other areas of interest to boost the state’s economy.
The envoy stated this at an exhibition tagged: “Made in Bayelsa Agricultural Products: A Pre-Bayelsa Agric Summit 2021” held at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall in Yenagoa.

A statement on Friday by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted Mr. Young-Chae as  assuring Governor Douye Diri of support to enable him realise his vision and economic blueprint for the state.
The ambassador said he was impressed with Governor Diri’s passion to engender economic prosperity through agricultural and infrastructure development of the state.

He urged the Bayelsa government to study the Korean and other East Asian markets with a view to producing crops such as cassava, rice and seedlings for export.

His words: “I will do my best to bring Korean companies to invest not only in the agriculture sector but also in ship building and manufacturing. It is a promise that we will work with Governor Diri to help transform the economy of the state.

“During my meetings with Governor Diri, I felt his energy, love and drive to bring about economic development for the state. So I thought we can help him to realise his dream for Bayelsa.
“One way you can achieve this is by carefully studying the Korean and other East Asian markets in Japan, Phillipines, Indonesia and China to know the kind of rice, cassava and seedlings like Sesame seeds  that you can process for export and make huge profits.”

According to Young-Chae, “it is dangerous for Nigeria to continue to rely on imported food. Nigeria can be self-sufficient and it can feed the whole of the African continent because it has the potential and it is possible.”
While declaring the exhibition open, Governor Diri expressed the state’s readiness to create partnerships in order to attract foreign direct investments into the state.

He assured the Korean Ambassador that his visit to the state would further strengthen the relationship between Bayelsa and Korea.

He said the visit had also given him the opportunity of having first hand information and knowledge about the peaceful and hospitable nature of the people of the state.

The governor said his administration cherishes the ambassador’s passion for development of the state and expressed the optimism that all the promises he made would come to fruition.
“Bayelsa is ripe and ready to attract foreign direct investments. This collaboration would bring forth fruits for Bayelsa and South Korea.

“You are here to have first hand information and knowledge of what Bayelsa is like away from the stereotypes and issues of militancy and crime. Of course, there is no state and country that is one hundred per cent secure. Nigeria being at the centre of the Gulf of Guinea, we will work with you to tackle the security challenges.”
In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chief David Alagoa, noted that the Senator Diri-led administration had prioritised agriculture as one of the critical sectors to revamp the state’s economy. 

Chief Alagoa, who urged Korea to be part of the state’s agricultural revolution, said a couple of activities had been planned ahead of the state’s agricultural summit in October with a view to developing an agricultural policy for the state.

In her presentation, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Investment, Patience Ranami Abah, highlighted various investment opportunities that abound in the state.

Ms Abah, who said the state was peaceful, urged Korea to invest in the Agge deep seaport project in the area of ship building, product assembly and fabrication as well as the eco-industrial park, which serves as a one-stop investment location.

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Bayelsa Has Potential For Greatness Like South Korea, Says Envoy

South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Kim Young-Chae, on Thursday, said Bayelsa State had the potential to be as developed as his country of origin. 

Speaking in Government House, Yenagoa, as guest of the  state government, Ambassador Young-Chae said his visit was a follow-up to his recent meeting with Governor Douye Diri in Abuja to further explore areas of partnership between the state and the Republic of Korea.

He noted that Bayelsa and South Korea shared a lot of similarities, which he said would make economic co-operation between both parties beneficial. 
The envoy, who is on a two-day visit to the state, identified agriculture, construction and manufacturing as some of the areas of co-operation, expressing the readiness of his country to make the partnership a reality. 

He commended the progress being made by the Diri administration, saying with the enthusiasm of the governor, Bayelsa can grow like South Korea, which, according to him, was a poor country until it explored and exploited  its potential. 

Responding, Governor Douye Diri expressed the willingness of the state to forge economic relationship with South Korea as a way of harnessing its potential. 
The governor stressed that Bayelsa was peaceful and open for business even as he expressed the optimism that by partnering with one of Asia’s economic giants, Bayelsa can move from poverty to riches. 
Describing Bayelsa as an agrarian state, he said the state was interested in partnering with South Korea in agriculture and other areas of economic development. 

His words: “Bayelsa is peaceful, safe and open for business. Having listened to you, we are sure that we are on the right track. By partnering with you, Bayelsa can go far. We can move away from poverty to riches like South Korea with this partnership. You have mentioned areas of partnership, especially in agriculture, and we are very ready. 
“We also have the Agge deep seaport project. That is one area we like to partner with you. We believe that working with South Korea, we would make progress and deepen our friendship.”

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Former US Congressman Proposes Rural Development Model For Bayelsa

A former lawmaker representing the State of New Hampshire in the United States Congress, Ambasdor Richard  Swett, has proposed a rural development  model for Bayelsa State. 

Speaking in Government House, Yenagoa, during a courtesy visit, Ambassador Swett said the development model would create jobs, housing, electricity and food among other necessary requirements for people of the state.  
A press release issued by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted Ambassador Swett, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Climate Prosperity Enterprises Solutions, as saying that the model was hinged on what he refered to as Total Environment Controlled Agriculture Plant (TECAP)

He said the facility is five-storey tall built on a hectare of land with agricultural activities inside and capable of producing 400 times what could be grown in a regular farming season on same size of land. 
He also explained that the TECAP facility, which would be a zero-carbon emission community, would have different businesses that inhabitants would benefit from and sustain the facility.

Swett further stated that each community would have a minimum of 3,000 persons that would have shares in the businesses that operate there.

The former congressman said funds for the project would be sourced from development agencies and other partners to make it a reality. 

He noted that his state of New Hampshire shared a lot of similarities with Bayelsa and other places where similar projects had worked, expressing optimism that it would work in the state with commitment from the government. 
Responding, Governor Douye Diri expressed appreciation to the former lawmaker for his choice of Bayelsa for the project, assuring that the government would do its part to make it work. 

He stated that the presentation was in line with his administration’s prosperity agenda, which is keen on attracting foreign direct investment.
Diri said he was excited about the model which, according to him, would attract private funds to the state.  
The governor set up a committee to be chaired by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Biriyai Dambo (SAN), to interface with the former lawmaker and his team. 

Other members of the committee are the Commissioners for Agriculture, Health, Power and Finance as well as the Technical Adviser on Public Private Partnership, Managing Director,  Bayelsa State Electricity Company and the the Principal Secretary, Government House, Mr. Irorodamie Komonibo.

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