Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has charged an agro exporting firm, ABX World, currently partnering with the Nsukka Chamber of Commerce and the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka to power the commercial production of the Nsukka yellow pepper for all-year round export to prosecute the project diligently.
The governor spoke when the former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, a patron of the Nsukka Chamber of Commerce, led a delegation of the Chamber and its partners of the ABX World on a courtesy call and strategy meeting at the Government House, Enugu.
Both the chamber and the agro-exporting company had made presentations on the prospects of producing the Nsukka yellow pepper popularly called Ose Nsukka at commercial quantities for export to the United Kingdom, USA and parts of Europe.
According to a projection by the chief executive of the agro-exporting company, Capt. John Okakpu, within a five-year period, an estimated turnover value of about N12bn would be realized from the cultivation and export of the Nsukka yellow pepper, a development that would promote the nation’s agricultural history and potentials.
Hence, Governor Ugwuanyi commended both the Nsukka Chamber of Commerce, the initiator of the project and then, Capt. Okakpu’s firm for venturing into the partnership just as he has been doing in some other states.
Chairman of the committee set up by the Nsukka Chamber to execute the project, Chief Matthias Omeh, a former commissioner for Agriculture in the state, explained after the meeting with the governor that the chamber had done a research on Ose Nsukka and had invited the agro-exporting company to partner with it for its realization, adding that the current move was to effect a commercial production of the yellow pepper for export to the UK and the USA since it is now accepted all over the world.
He informed that for the pilot project, the university has provided two hectares of land to enable the scheme to provide for training more farmers on the best agronomy practices to effectively grow the yellow pepper to commercial quantity as required by the exporting company.
Capt. Okakpu put the coming of the new project in perspective, saying, “Against the backdrop of the current government strategic agricultural Promotion Program –APP, popularly referred to as ‘The Green Alternative’ ( 2016 – 2020) commercial farm export production of Yellow pepper at this time in our national agricultural history is both timely and auspicious.
“Nsukka local government working in synergy with the farmers and all relevant stake holders must as a matter of firm resolve seize the momentum provided now by Nsukka Chamber to prove the point and demonstrate the efficacy of the popular cliché that says; ‘where there is will there is a way’
The current agricultural policy has cleared the coast for farmers and producers to return to the farm, cultivate the land, realize their fullest potentials and do very good export business to generate handsome financial rewards. The time is now, and we are making the move now with the Nsukka Chamber and the university to conquer the international market with this very special produce.
“With a conservative estimated turnover value of 1.6 billion Naira in the first year, 3.86 Billion in the third and about N12Billion in the fifth year of cultivation of this crop, it is obvious that if yellow pepper gets the right attention of government and the producers get the needed collateral motivation in terms of credit funding and infrastructure then Eldorado is surely at sight”, he stated.