Oando and its JV partners stated this at the annual Green River Project/Farmers Day celebration in Igbo-ogene, Bayelsa State on Saturday.
According to a statement, the initiative has created the much-needed awareness on the importance of agriculture in spearheading the socio-economic development and economic diversification of the country, particularly in the Niger Delta.
It said Oando and its JV partners had distributed over 2.71 million fish fingerlings, 37,669 cassava bundles, 200,563 plantain suckers, 400,051 maize seeds and 87,003 seed yam to the GRP farmers.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Operating Officer, Oando Energy Resources, Dr Ainojie Irune, said, “We have built this initiative to outlive our generation. My hope is that future generations will experience the growth of this endeavour and the value it brings.
“The nation has a lot to learn from this initiative – in how you can take something small and transform it through unity and collaboration into something this successful and on such a grand scale. The onus lies on us as private sector partners and you to take advantage of this unique opportunity and propel your state to become an agro-export state.”
The Vice- Chairman/Managing Director, NAOC,
Mr Lorenzo Fiorillo, highlighted the future plans of the JV for the Green River Project, including a proposed agro skills acquisition training programme for 350 youths in 2019, and a planned empowerment and enhancement of businesses for 945 youths among others.
A representative from NAPIMS, Mrs Edina Osifo, was quoted as saying, “NAPIMS will continue to support this venture to make it sustainable. Youths make the best of this initiative. It would be a pleasure to see a youth crowned the best overall farmer in 2019. I also call on women to get more involved.”