• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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BusinessDay

Obasanjo diversifies into Avocado farming, says Nigeria to attain Africa’s largest producer by 2030

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As part of efforts to set good example for jobless Nigerian youths who pursue white collar jobs at the detriment of agribusiness and agricultural practice, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has begun cash crops farming, diversifying into Avocado farming in addition to the livestock farming for which the elder statesman is known for through the farming industry – Obasanjo Farms Nigeria Limited (OFN).

BusinessDay reports that former President Obasanjo’s investment in the Avocado farming was borne out of the fact that the country targets to be the largest producer of Avocado crop in Africa by 2030 with the sustained investments and enthusiasm of the country’s farmers.

Obasanjo, who received team of farmers and agriculturists from Avocado Society of Nigeria (ASN) at his Pent House located in the premises of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta on Monday, said that the country possesses all qualities and capacities required to take over the East African countries in Avocado crop planting and farming by 2030.

The former president was quoted in the Press Statement issued in Abeokuta by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi to have said, “I want to see Nigeria becoming one of, if not the leading avocado producer in Africa.

“Avocado is a unique crop and very lucrative business which can be done as either a business or a hobby, from having a plantation, or just few trees in one’s compound. I am happy to be a member of this Association. I hope more people will appreciate the value of Avocado business and join us either as a hobby or as a business.

“Avocado is a very healthy fruit with numerous benefits. The oil as well as the pulp from it is used in the cosmetic industry, pharmaceutical companies and therapeutic activities. I will say a bit of Avocado everyday, keeps the doctor away.

“Those of us who have been privileged to knowing about Avocado production must not hold the information to ourselves. In my simple opinion, this is the new oil of Nigeria, if it is effectively tapped into.”

Earlier, Sola Bunmi Adeniyi, Chief Executive Officer of the Avocado Society, extolled the effort of the former president at promoting agriculture in Nigeria and Africa at large which necessitated the Association to confer Grand Patron of Avocado Society of Nigeria, saying “such virtue (effort of the former president on Agriculture) is a rare one.”

He added, “If at this old age and considering his (Obasanjo) affluence he still does not underemphasize the importance of taking opportunities, I think he is passing a great message to all Nigerians, regardless of class.

“The multi million naira investment into Avocado by the Grand Patron clearly shows that he is an unrepentant lover and advocate of Agriculture. You heard him saying the potentials of this crop in the next decade, therefore, Avocado production must be tapped into by all.

“Baba is the Society’s Grand Patron because we believe in his capacity and we want him to lead this awareness for the good of our Nation and the prosperity of our people.”