Ekiti state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has inaugurated a N5 billion snail farm established by a consortium of agricultural firms; Dem Eli Farms and Merchandise and Farmkonnect in the state.
Inaugurating the snail farm agricultural project, the biggest in African continent and christened ‘Egbeja Snail Village located at Okemesi Ekiti, in Ekiti West local government area of the state, Governor Fayemi said the farm will generate 5,000 jobs when fully operational.
Fayemi expressed the determination of his government to make Ekiti a commercial hub for agribusiness, saying he had demonstrated this by attracting over 100 million dollars public-private driven agro-allied investments to Ekiti in two years.
He said: “This project is the first of its kind in Ekiti. It will stock 2.6 million snails for production of snail and slime for export into the international market. To us, it will provide easy market and foreign exchange earnings as well as generate employment for our teeming youths.
The production of snail and slime in exportable quantities will automatically put Ekiti on the world map. At completion, no fewer than 5,000 jobs will be provided for our youths while also supporting our vision for youth empowerment and technology transfer.
“We are passionate about agriculture, which is our green investment here in Ekiti. We are ready to give tax holidays and issue certificate of occupancies to investors within 60 days of operation as part of our efforts to strengthen that sector”.
The founder of Farmkonnect, Lt. Commander Azees Oluwole, stated that the farm, upon completion, will cover 100,000 square metres of land, making it the biggest investment that could generate employment and create wealth.
Oluwole revealed that at full capacity, the project could make a profit of N6 billion annually with about 82 tonnes of exportable slimes, besides generating thousands of jobs for skilled and unskilled youth.
Chief Executive Officer, Dem Eli Farms and Merchandise, Mrs. Oluranti Ojo, said the vision behind the agribusiness was to contribute immensely to food security and nutrition through agricultural real estate of modern technologies and methods.