The Rivers Investment Forum says it is focusing on training entrepreneurs in Rivers state to engage in productive mechanized Farming.
President of Rivers Investment Forum IBIFIRI BOB MANUEL told our correspondent at the sidelines of the 2020 Rivers Entrepreneur and investors trustees forum held at hotel presidential that its mandatory for them to have a briefing on their activities and projections for the year2020. and part of activities and projections is to impact on Agriculture through seminars, broad partnership with International organisations and various Government to bring development to the state come 2020.
He said ‘’if we train our people on various skills they will become employers of labour and not job seekers, we tried that out last year with a pilot scheme with a smaller group and it turned out to be so successful, so we intend to duplicate that process.’’
EWR- ARE YOU ALSO CONSIDERING THE SECURITY OF THESE INVESTORS SINCE EVEN THE PEASANT FARMERS IN THE VILLAGE HAVE ABANDONED FARMING DUE INSECURITIES?
Bob Manuel –security is a lot better today, in the past we talked about like nine years ago we were really hammering on multiply taxation as at then some of our members can’t even get to drive on their official vehicle without being hounded but today there is a lot of improvement, we set that ball in motion and today the narrative have changed and the narrative is changing towards Agriculture, so we are going to push the boundaries of Agriculture in 2020, we will bring investors from different parts of the world into Rivers State to showcase the potentials of it.
Bob Manuel– said there is no society that is perfect, we have our tooting problems in rivers state and we understand where those tooting problems are, most of the time we know that the catalysts for growth in our society today is in Agriculture. Because its only Agriculture that could create the amount of jobs that we need in Rivers State and the time is now. ‘’and Mechanized agriculture is the way forward’’ the more jobs we create with mechanized farming in the State, the safer the state would be’’.
EWR—DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIFIC AREAS YOU ARE FOCUSING ON WITH THIS AGRICULTURE OR ITS JUST BROAD AND VAST?
BOB MANUEL – It is vast. We are looking at so many areas, we are looking at Agriculture value chain, it’s not just about going into agriculture we talked about mechanization in agriculture those are the areas we are trying to look into, there are one or two companies that are domiciled in rivers state that we are dealing with, we have already drawn up our blue prints and based on our blue print those companies that are already mechanized manufacturers in Nigeria and domiciled in Rivers state and we are working closely with them to be able to provide the needed mechanization to drive that process,
‘’so it’s not just for our people to go to farms and going to farms with hoe, machetes’ and cutlass are mundane, infact we frown at farming with hoe and cutlasses, it’s not just productive. What we are trying to achieve with our various partners and associates is to go into mechanized farming, we are encouraging the state government to go through that process, ‘we’ on our own from the private sector we are trying to support the state government and support the people by bringing them together into clusters, people that are already in clusters we are already working directly with them to see that we link them up with manufacturers to be able to improve upon what they have been doing.
‘’Because if they keep doing the same kind of subsistence farming that they have always been known for, they will only end up suffering themselves and become poor, so we are trying to change that narrative by resetting the mindset of the rivers people, an average Rivers man should see the potentials that are locked around him and utilize it.