Agriculture is the production, processing, marketing, and use of foods, fibers and byproducts from plant, crops and animals for human development.
Agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers, fuels, raw materials etc.
(a) Foods include: Cereals, Vegetables, Fruits, and Meat.
(b) Fibers include: Cotton, Wool, Hemp, Silk and Flax.
(c) Raw materials include: Lumber and Bamboo.
(e) Biofuels include: Methane from Biomass, Ethanol, and Biodiesel.
(f) Others include: Cut flowers, Nursery Plants, Tropical Fish and Birds for the pet trade are some of the ornamental products.
Imo State is located within the tropical rainforest which gives it the ecological basis for production of a wide range of tropical agricultural crops with extensive potentialities for industrial usage. The crops produced include oil palm, raffia palm, rice, groundnut, melon, cotton, cocoa, rubber, maize, et cetera. Under livestock’s are dairy, poultry, piggery and fisheries.
Imo state's drive to stimulate growth in agricultural sector has lead to transformation in its policies to make the investment climate investor friendly ensuring food security, social, political and economic stability. The sector has seen the implementation of attractive incentives for investors and also the need to embrace modern and profitable technologies.
The available incentives include:
(a) Investors involved in processing of agricultural produce attract pioneer status - guaranteed tax holidays, tariff concessions, financing and export support.
(b) Unrestricted capital allowance
(c) Special rates for importation of machinery.
The government of encourages and supports Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative in agricultural sector and therefore encourages mechanized agriculturist to invest in this unexploited investment opportunity in the state. Company already participating in this initiative is Agro Nova collaboration between Imo State Government and South African farmers. This partnership has since rehabilitated the 50 hectares Fish Farm at Umunna in Orlu LGA and the 500 hectare Efuru farm project which was acquired by the State Ministry of Agriculture under its private/public sector collaboration.
To the implementation of governments agricultural policy, Imo State Government has produced a one stop up to date agricultural document "The Prospectus for commercial farming in Imo State" that give a graphic description, /mapping of Imo State and its Agricultural Zones, crops soil types and other information necessary for the successful practice of commercial farming in the state. It is designed to provide information on what the investor needs for a return on his investment.
Some of the ways the state government is supporting agriculture are;
(i) The provision of twenty five metric tons of fertilizer worth N2.4 billion for the current farming season
(ii) The training of middle manpower as Agric. Extension Officers
(iii) The provision of Extension Services to farmers in the State
(iv) Rehabilitation of Agro Service Centers as commodity/ input collection centers.
(v) Provision of Micro Credit to farmers
(vi) The FADAMA III Programme.
(vii) Production of simple implements by the Agric. engineering Department
(viii) Distribution of improved varieties of seedlings and other inputs
Fish farming in Imo state has developed over the years to become one of the major subsistence and commercial fresh fish producing states in Nigeria. The state currently has over 300 fish ponds and 13 hatcheries, which are not enough to meet demand, contributing about 30% of its per capita consumption. The government hopes to meet up to 65% of the local need by 2012 but lacks the capacity needed to take the sector to the next level. Prospective investors are therefore invited to Imo State for necessary expansion in the sector.
Nigeria is a beautiful country with scenic rain forests, savannahs, waterfalls, lakes, national parks (Old Oyo, Yankari and Cross River National Park) etc. The revenue from Tourism and Travel in Nigeria was about 10Bn USD in 2007, and estimated to about 6% of GDP.
Imo State is not left out in all these; the state has many rivers. The main rivers in the state are Imo, Otamiri and Njaba. The major lakes are in Oguta and Abadaba in Obowu local government area.
Imo state is the heartland of the east; its inhabitants are lively & hospitable. They have a rich cultural heritage that attracts tourist to the state. The rich culture is manifested in their dressing, music, festivals, art & crafts and the traditional hospitality of the people.
In the area of tourism, there are many tourist centres in Imo State. An outstanding tourist attraction is the Mbari located at Ikenegbu. The Mbari centre boasts of various artifacts which depict the cultural heritage of the people. The Amphi-Theatre is another gigantic work of art in the state. The theatre which has 3,000 sitting capacity is a promotion of the national objective on culture as well as modern effort to preserve our cultural heritage.
Other places of tourist interest in the State include the Oguta Lake Holiday Resort with its sand beach measuring one kilometer by 50 meters. 18 - hole golf course, colonial building with its attractive scenery and various species of birds. There are also the rolling hills of Okigwe where hill locks of varying heights and-ruggedness add to the fascinating environment.
There are very good hotels in Owerri, they include: Concorde Hotels, (5 star) Owerri, Modotel, Imo Hotels Ltd etc
Imo State plays host to visitors from within and outside Nigeria who come for a brief stay for various reasons which include vacation, seminars and workshops, business and administrative meetings and conferences, sports, religious and academic programmes, social visits and to satisfy the urge to experience the rich culture of Imo people. Fortunately, the state is endowed with abundant natural resources and cultural heritage, which offer great business opportunities to investors.
The shortage in power supply in Nigeria cannot be understated, although power problem is a national phenomenon. Presently supply of power by Power Holding Company of Nigeria plc (PHCN) to Imo state is between 12 and 18 mw which is generally rationed.
A number of state governments, including Imo have embraced the concept of Independent Power Plants and Renewable Energy solutions following areas:
(i) Independent Power Plants (IPPs) that feeds into the national grid (II) Captive power generation to service industrial layouts and confined commercial and residential estates. (III) Investments in renewable energy power solution, including manufacture or assembly of solar panels, power inverters, and bio-fuels.
The independent power generation scheme will target to provide a minimum of 50MW generating capacity necessary to meet the state’s short and medium term growth in energy demand. The state has abundant nature gas reserves capable of supporting such projects (IPP)
Nigeria is rich in natural resources, especially in case of hydrocarbons. In international ranking Nigeria holds the 10th oil producer and the 3rd largest oil producer in Africa. The Nigerian economy is largely dependent on its oil sector which supplies 95% of its foreign exchange earnings.
Imo State is one of the few states in the country where crude oil is found. The state has large quantities of crude oil and gas deposits. There are currently over 163 oil wells at 12 different locations. The main petroleum companies operating in the region are Addax, Chevron, Shell and the Nigeria Agip Oil Company. Many opportunities in oil and gas production have still not been fully exploited. In Aug, 2010 the Nigerian national petroleum cooperation announced that they planned to build a new oil refinery to try to boost employment in the region and help reduce the country's reliance on imported fuel.
‘The Imo state government is to go into a strategic partnership with NNPC to establish a Greenfield refinery in the state.’ A huge oil and Gas deposit known as the GOLDEN BELT is located in Oguta, L.G.A of the state.
Imo state has the potential to serve as the trading hub in Eastern Nigeria, hence the huge opportunity in investing in modern markets as described above. In addition, Imo has an abundance of mineral resources and cash crops that can be exported in raw form or semi-processed. Mineral resources, Agro-based resources and cash crops are available in commercial quantities in the state. With a large number of good road networks and a cargo port in the state commodity supply and trading is effective.
The Nigerian Entertainment Industry has grown in leaps and bounds in recent years. Its story did not just start; its development has spanned decades. The entertainment industry in Nigeria is a fast growing one, with many opportunities springing up for budding entrepreneurs, artists and their managers as well as other stake holders, it is estimated to generate revenues of over $2 billion annually.
It spans movie, film and music production, comedy and events management, modeling and beauty pageantry among others. Imo State is the highest contributor to the Nigerian Movie Industry (Nollywood) as far as celebrity actor, movie producers and directors are concerned. Nollywood is the 3rd fastest growing movie industry in the world. It is therefore our pride of place to also be the host of the movie industry, which is currently without an actual geographic location. It is only proper to assume the place given to Imo State by natural selection.