Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday pledged the commitment of the state government to establish a food processing factory during a meeting with executive members of Averson Group from St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States of America.
“Benue State people have no problem with the production of agricultural produce but our challenges remain storage, processing, and marketing. When I heard your story I became interested and asked myself what else is the hyena looking for when a goat lies nearby?” the governor stated.
Ortom, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and ICT, Tahav Agerzua, stated that from the briefing he received, Averson Group has the technology, expertise and funds to fill the gap and assured that the state government would fulfill its obligations in ensuring the establishment of the project.
According to the governor, his encounter with the group was a dream come true as he had promised the people of the state that his administration would provide an enabling environment for the establishment of agro-processing and other industries that would create massive jobs, wealth and opportunities.
The governor directed an investment banker, Dr. Tavershima Adyorough, to anchor the realisation of the project.
He disclosed that the state government would boost dry season farming by clearing land on the banks of rivers Benue and Katsina-Ala so that farmers could deploy irrigation in crop production which he said gave better yield.
In his presentation, one of the promoters of the project, Mr. Peter Zordstra, stated that research conducted by the group revealed that yams and cassava from the state had the highest rated nutritional value in the world.
He, however, listed constrained market volume, lack of incentives and export market, limited jobs, poverty, lack of opportunity, as well as crop waste from lack of market access, as some of the challenges that Benue farmers face and which their investment would help to tackle.
Zordstra stated that lack of credible partners in Benue State stalled the project as “13 years of commitment talk, official ‘support’ letters,” produced no action.
He disclosed that the group was into food processing, agriculture mechanisation, public transportation and infrastructure but that if given the necessary support it would commence with food processing as a pilot scheme.

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