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.
Speaking in Abuja during a meeting between the Executive Director of the Council, Mr. Segun Awolowo, and the State Commissioner for Investment, Trade and Industry, Aare Muyiwa Olumilua, the Council asked the State to select a single crop for which it has the greatest comparative advantage, in order for NEPC to help promote.
The Executive Director promised to give all the necessary support to Ekiti State, to enable it achieve its goals in expanding its export capacity.
Awolowo stated that NEPC is 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.
While stressing that NEPC is desirous of forging a strategic partnership with Ekiti State, the Executive Director said the Council had set up a field office in Ekiti State, apart from the regional office, to enable it work closer with the State Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Investment, Trade and Industry, Aare Olumilua, said the State is blessed with fertile croppable land and a large percentage of the population are farmers who are either into subsistence or commercial agriculture.
Olumilua said Ekiti State has comparative advantage in food and cash crops such as cassava, rice, yam, bananas, cocoa, and cashew amongst others.
He expressed the readiness of the State government for strategic partnerships that will help maximize the potential in the agricultural sector.