By Demola Atobaba
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has affirmed the readiness of his government to partner and synergize with any private Agric initiative and investors in the state.
The governor gave the assurance while speaking at the official commissioning of Egbeja Snail Village in Okemesi-Ekiti in Ekiti West Local Government Areas.
The snail farm which is a private investment in the state is designed to be the largest snail farming in Nigeria and the second largest in Africa. It contains the capacity to produce a minimum of two thousand six hundred metre tone sales per annum.
Dr Fayemi commended the initiative of the brains behind the farm project, adding that his administration will continue to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
The governor was thereafter conducted round the various facilities on the farm.
The facilitator and the Chief Executive Officer of the project, Mrs. Oluranti Ojo appreciated the people of Okemesi-Ekiti especially the Owa-Ooye of Okemesi, Oba Michael Gbadebo Adedeji for the opportunity and the enabling environment given to them to set-up the farm business in his domain.
She charged the farmers and other guests in attendance to put their trust in whatever Godly and legal they do, pointing out that no amount is too small to start something.
Delivering his goodwill message, an Agric expert, Mr. Azeez Oluwole said, “The Egbeja Snail Village project is established under the corporate tutelage of Touchstone Snails Technology Limited, Lanarca, Cyprus. This project is poised to produce a minimum of 2.6 million kilograms of snail per annum.
“On our twentyfive-hectare land in Okemesi, Ekiti State, we are engaging seven thousand square meters modern snail breeding facility in the production of Helix aspersa Muller, not only for meat but more importantly for the Slim of the snail, which has four times more economic value compared to the mean.
Mr Oluwole added that, “The Egbeja Snail Village is designed to feature the breeding and production of about a million diverse species of snail and has been designed to also allow our unique collective farming model-Agricultural Real Estate. Interested individuals can sponsor a part of this production, own it for a stipulated period and earn enormously annually.”
He assured that the production will start by next week. “Our production will commence by next week. Part of those things we want to achieve is to develop the agricultural sector to bring the farmers closer to the place.”
He described Okemesi community and it’s environs as a place where hopitality is being deposited by God.
According to him, “This farm is going to become the biggest in Africa and second largest in the world when completed. We are currently on the opening of the 7,000 square meters of snail farm”.
He observed that African as a continent does not value it’s culture. “We need to preserve our culture for future opportunities for posterity to jugde us well.”
Commenting on the development, the Owa-Ooye of Okemesi, HRM Oba Michael Gbadebo Adedeji, Ariyowonye II, thanked the initiative of the organizers for choosing Okemesi as the choice of location for the project.
Oba Adedeji who could not hold his joy urged all the well-meaning Ekiti people to take the bull by the horn, described the Egbeja Snail Village as a laudable one.
The monarch therefore called on other indigenes of the community to take a cue from the event and emulate such attitude towards the development of the town, Ekiti State and Nigeria in general.
In a separate interview with EKITI STANDARD, one of the community leaders, Chief Joel Idowu-Fakorede lauded the financiers of the project. He described it as a thing that has come at the right time, when crude oil and other sectors has failed the nation.
His words: “We thank God for bringing such gigantic project of Agric-Business to Okemesi community. Like the initiator has rightly said, Okemesi is located in a strategic position. We liberated Ekiti and we suppose to also lead Ekiti in other areas in agriculture.”
Chief Fakorede observed that the issue of insecurity that has now become rampant in our society should have been a thing of the past if adequate job opportunity is being provided for the teeming young undergraduates. He urged the youths to engage themselves in a lucrative vocation, noting that an idle hand is a devil’s workshop.
Highlight of the programme was the farm tour, commissioning of the Snail village and official unveiling of Egbeja Snail Village sculpture.
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