Don urges Ndigbo to invest in kola nut plantation

A Professor of Agric Economics, Ralph Echebiri, on Monday advised Ndigbo to invest in kola nut plantation to boost the revenue of the South Eastern region.
Echebiri gave the advice during the 2015 `idor Orji culture’ (planting of kola nut) ceremony at Obizi, Ezinneihitte Mbaise, Imo.

The don said that large scale cultivation of the kola nut was a veritable avenue to economic wealth.
The professor, who is the Dean of the Faculty of Agric Economics, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Aba, said kola nut plantation cultivation was capable of creating job opportunities for the teeming Ndigbo, if well managed.

“Beyond the tradition of using kola nut to promote unity, establishing kola nut plantations in many parts of the South-East geopolitical zone could provide jobs and revenue to the people,’’ he said.
Echebiri also advised the people to venture into other agricultural sector, especially modern agriculture to cushion the effect of dwindling oil economy.

He said with the fertile land, Nigerians had the potential to meet and surpass the food need of its people and earn foreign reserve without relying much on crude oil.

Chief Solomon Nnamocha, the President, and CEO of Solonns Investment Ltd, a maritime company with head office in Port Harcourt, urged corporate and wealthy Nigerians to invest in agriculture to tackle unemployment problem in Nigeria.

“Large expanse of land, which stretched along the Ezinneihitte Mbaise end of the Imo River bank, is enough for mass production of agricultural crops to boost the local economy.
“Presently, we may not have the crude oil as it is in other areas within the Niger Dealt region, but we have fertile land.

“We can take advantage of the fertile land to improve the fortune of our area,’’ he said.
Nnamocha said wealthy people could also invest in aquaculture, livestock, and plantations agriculture, adding that the return on such investment was promising.

He noted that if the people could key into the agricultural policies of the Federal Government, they could obtain credit facilities to further expand their agricultural ventures.

Chief Basil Ogwunga, and Chief Ignatius Okeahalam, both indigenes of Obizi in Imo, said that cultivation of kola nut was significant as the event cements good relationship among the fourteen communities in Ezinneihitte Mbaise.

Ogwunga said that numerous kola nut seedlings sold during the event were avenue of raising revenue for the community to embark on developmental projects and encourage the people to plant cash crops.

Okeahalam, one time chairman of Heartland FC, Owerri, used the medium to call on the youths to re-channel their energies towards agriculture development.

Two traditional rulers, Eze Stephen Azubuine of Obizi community and Robert Ahaneku, the President General of Obizi autonomous community, said the planting of kola nut event was a prelude to the Jan. 1, 2016 iwa orji Ezinneihitte (breaking of kola nut) festival to be hosted by Obizi community.

Business Day
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