22nd August, 2011
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has led a Kenya-based American investor to inspect about 30,000 hectares of marshy land in Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State for possible commercial rice cultivation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Obasanjo was accompanied the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and Governor Dambaba Suntai of Taraba State.
The former president described the investor, Mr. Calvin Burgess, as a friend to Nigeria.
He expressed confidence that Burgess, who is also the Chairman, Dominion Farms, would soon commence rice production in the state.
Responding, Burgess said the land had good layout and great potential, adding that he would take a decision at the end of the year whether or not to start work.
He said he had a farm in Kenya where he grew rice and admitted that the Gassol site was more attractive because
of water for irrigation and access roads.
He said his company would undertake a feasibility study to establish the availability of basic needs at minimal cost.
Also speaking, Suntai promised to construct the 10-kilometre road to link the Jalingo-Wukari Federal road, to facilitate communication and also provide the company with silos for storage.
The Chairman, Gassol Local Government, Alhaji Ibrahim Liman and the Lamdo of Gassol, Alhaji Idi Chiroma, described the visit as a blessing to the community.
They expressed optimism that the company, when established, would benefit the people in terms of employment.
They also said that the construction of the road would facilitate linkage with other local government areas.