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‘Enugu, FG partnership on cassava-bioethanol project yielding results’

The Enugu State government has stated that its partnership with the federal government on cassava to bioethanol production was yielding the desired results, saying it was intensifying cassava cultivation in the state to boost the economy, while helping to address unemployment and insecurity.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Agro-Industrialization, Mr. Patrick Ubru made this known at Okpanku in Aninri Local Government Area while conducting a federal government delegation on an inspection tour of cassava-bioethanol projects in Aninri, Isi-Uzo, and Udi local government areas of the state, during the weekend.

In a statement, Ubru informed the delegation comprising officials of the Federal Ministry of Budget, Economic and National Planning, the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC, and Prof Ken Ife, the promoter of Biosources and Technology Ltd, a private sector investor in cassava-bioethanol production in the state, of the cultivation of over one thousand hectares of cassava farms in the three council areas last year for the pilot phase of the cassava-bioethanol project.

He observed that prior to the clearing of the large expanses of land in the said local government areas, hoodlums and kidnappers had been using the forests as their operational bases and hideouts while terrorizing the people.

He disclosed that the state was set to commence the construction of over 20 kilometres of access roads to farmlands at Okpanku, adding that it had also made a 50 percent payment for the construction of a 22 kilometer road from Ikem in Isi Uzo council area to the border with Benue State.

He added that the state government was partnering with the federal government to establish a military base in Isi Uzo, while it was also in the process of establishing the Agro Rangers, a security outfit that would ensure safety in the farmlands.

Addressing female cooperative farmers after inspecting the farms at Okpanku in Aninri, the leader of the federal government delegation, Mr Olaifa Fatai commended the state government for empowering women to participate in agriculture, encouraging them to take advantage of the support programmes from the state and federal governments.

 

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