The vision of the Ekiti State Government to develop the agriculture sector and make it the mainstay of the State’s economy received a major boost, as the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) pledged its support for the enhancement of the State’s export potential.
The Council Executive Director, Mr Segun Awolowo and the State Commissioner for Investment, Trade and Industry, Aare Muyiwa Olumilua, spoke on the development during a meeting in Abuja.
The NEPC, in order to promote agriculture as the major driver of the state’s economy, called on the state to select a single crop for which it has the highest comparative advantage.
Awolowo assured the state of his support to enable it achieve its goals in expanding its export capacity.
He stressed that NEPC was strongly driving the nation’s “Zero Oil Plan” with the aim of diversifying Nigeria’s export capacity, and drastically reducing the country’s dependence on revenue from crude oil exports.
The Executive Director, while emphasizing that NEPC was desirous of forging a strategic partnership with the state, disclosed that the Council had set up a field office in the state, apart from the regional office, to enable it work closer with the State Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry.
In his remarks, Olumilua stressed that Ekiti State is blessed with arable land noted that a large percentage of the population are farmers who are either into subsistence or commercial agriculture.
The commissioner identified that the state has comparative advantage in food and cash crops such as cassava, rice, yam, banana, cocoa, and cashew amongst others.
He expressed the readiness of the State government for strategic partnerships that will help maximize the potential in the agriculture sector.