ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION: BAYELSA COMMERCIALISES PALM ESTATE

The Bayelsa State Government has confirmed its decision to partner with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Manufacturing and Marketing Company of Nigeria Limited (MAMCON) over the cultivation of rice farms and commercialisation of the state’s palm estate.

The State Government disclosed that the commercialisation of the state-owned palm estate at Elebele would generate N150 million, which is part of its drive to diversify the state’s economy as well as boost the internally generated revenue profile.

According to the Commissioners of Information, Education and Agriculture, in a joint press briefing at the Government House, Yenagoa, the Bayelsa Palm Estate has been concessioned to the Manufacturing and Marketing Company of Nigeria Limited (MAMCON), after a moratorium of six months with a concession fee of N150m for ten years.

“In the commercialisation agreement, there will be a concession fee of N150m payable to the Bayelsa State government after a six-month moratorium.  MAMCON agreed with the government to invest and revitalise the existing palm estate, to put in more infrastructure”, the state’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Doodei Week, quipped.

Speaking further on the decisions reached at the meeting on the diversification of the sector, Week noted that the government has also decided to partner with the Central Bank of Nigeria on the funding of aqua-culture projects like the 4,000 hectare rice farm at Isampou in the Kolokuma Opokuma Local Government Area of the state.

The Commissioner noted that other projects to be embarked upon include, the Epie fish farm to be replicated in all the Local Government Areas of the state and a central fish processing centre for both local and internal markets. He further explained that, a plantain and Banana plantation will soon start, with an approval of 1000 hectare land to be acquired for the purpose.

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