Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has inaugurated 1,000 hectares of cleared field for maize production in Sobe Farm Settlement of Owan West Local Government of the state.

Speaking during the inauguration, Obaseki said the maize cultivation, which could directly empower 200 agripreneurs, was part of his administration’s accelerated agriculture initiative to create jobs in the state.

He explained that the first phase of the initiative would target job creation for 1,000 farmers through the cultivation of 5,000 hectares of maize farms across the councils in the state.

 “Today is the first step towards actualising the 200,000 jobs promised by my administration. If we invest in agriculture, we can do more than 200,000 jobs in Edo and Nigeria as a whole,” he said.

He observed that land preparation was a major challenge in the state, adding that the initiative was to make land preparation easy for farmers.

He added that the initiative was in partnership with Saro AgroSciences ltd, which would provide technical support for the programme.

 On his part, the Group Managing Director of Saro AgroSciences, Mr Oluwole Adeyegbe, said the scheme targeted a minimum of four metric tonnes of maize yield per hectare, which would be bought directly from the farmers.

He said the company was also collaborating with the state government for the second phase of the initiative, which would feature the use of green house and Cocoa Yield Enhancement Programme.