The Kwara government and the National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation (NCAM) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on processing of agricultural produce across different communities in the state.
Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, who signed on behalf of the government, said that the state would build some cottage industries in the state to boost productivity, drive community growth and create wealth.
According to the governor, the state government will sponsor the establishment of the industries in identified locations across the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NCAM, according to the agreement, will give necessary inputs, such as engineering and technical supports, that will lead to the establishment of the industries.
A statement issued on Monday evening by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, said that NCAM would help to install such machines and train people within the communities on how to operate and maintain them.
“This is another milestone in our drive to ensure food security and create wealth for the people.
“Kwara is privileged to have such NCAM and others like that sited here and our administration will take full advantage of them.
“What we want to do under the MoU will be covered in the 2021 budget.
“This is the beginning of many things to come. Apart from Benue, I don’t know of any other area which produces yam like Baruten here in Kwara.
“So it is important for us to be able to process yam flour and mechanise its production. There is the need to process it before taking it out of the state,’’ Ajakaye said.
NAN reports that the NCAM team was led by its Executive Director, Dr Muideen Kasali.
Kasali said that the organisation was ready to support the administration’s dream of empowering the youth and women.
He said that NCAM had earlier established 11 processing centres across the state to support community growth and youth empowerment.
“We are very happy with this MoU that we have just signed. We thank you for the initiative.
“This will help the youth to come out from the streets and be empowered. It will create employment and allow the youth to be engaged,” the NCAM boss said.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Community Interventions, Kayode Oyin-Zubair, commended the initiative which, he said, would drive socioeconomic growth in several parts of the state.
“Before the advent of this government, NCAM, through its extension services, had no less than eight cottage industries around the state.
“With the governor’s permission, I have toured the industries and I found out that a number of them are now moribund.
“They did it for the communities to take ownership, make use of them and earn a living, but they were no longer working. But with the governor’s support, many of them are now working.
“For example, the one at Idofian is now working. It is our joy that the ‘Sure Gari’ is back. We have also re-energised our people in Osi, Esie and other places,” he said. (NAN)