<<< By Ede Ogaba Ede >>>
Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom says everything will be done to maintain the prime position of the state as the food basket of the nation.
Speaking while receiving the Local Organising Committee of the International African food festival at his office yesterday, Governor Ortom, represented by his deputy, Engr Benson Abounu disclosed that the state has put in place a roadmap to revolutionise agricultural production and make it the engine room of its industrialisation drive.
He said that the nation is shifting away from oil-dependent mono-economy to a diversified economy with emphasis on agriculture and added that Benue state as the food bastion of the country has all it takes to lead the country, adding further that the state is determined to use its comparative advantage in agriculture to drive its development.
Governor Ortom said he is happy that youths are the brains behind the food festival, which is billed to take place in Makurdi later in the year.
He expressed support for the event, which he admits, would promote tourism and highlight the state rich cultural heritage, and promised to give the organisers the needed support for a successful hosting of the event.
Earlier, the chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Caleb Okufe said the African food festival which is a creation of Cabinet X Initiative in partnership with the African Union is bringing participants from all over Africa and beyond to Makurdi to savour the rich food and cultural heritage of not only Benue state and Nigeria but of all the participating countries.
He disclosed that several companies and countries have already confirmed their participation at the event and thanked the State government for providing them with the land where the food village, the first in Africa shall be established. He, however, requested more support to enable them fast-track preparations for the event.
Mr Okufe said that the event is a win, win one as it brings with it benefits that will stimulate the social and economic development of the state.