Oyo State Governor ‘Seyi Makinde said on Tuesday that his administration will continue to reorganize agro-industry development in Oyo State, with a view to developing the state’s economy. .
The governor, speaking at the 2021 Oyo State Agribusiness Summit, held at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, said that for agriculture to do moving people from poverty to prosperity, it should not only be seen as a tool for rural development, but more specifically as a business.
In a presentation titled “Re-engineering Agribusiness Development in Oyo State” at the Oyo Agribusiness Summit 2021, Makinde listed Oyo State’s agribusiness investment potential globally, saying his administration was already in partnership with the French government and IITA, among others.
A statement by the governor’s chief press secretary Taiwo Adisa, citing Governor Makinde as saying that the summit aims to showcase the investment potential of Oyo state, adding that it would also allow the state to find other ways to create incentives for international partners and partners.
The governor argued that the decision to revamp agribusiness development in the state followed a set of carefully planned and strategically executed efforts, which, he said, enabled the state to offer unbeatable incentives to future investors in the agro-industry.
Governor Makinde said that in addition to the state’s comparative advantage in the availability of about 28,500 square kilometers of arable land and abundant freshwater sources as well as 3,000 hectares of artificial lakes, this which, he added, gives the state a competitive advantage in fish farming.
He added that his administration had embarked on a massive infrastructure development targeting the development of agriculture and agribusiness.
The governor also said that the construction of the 65-kilometer Moniya-Iseyin arterial road, the ongoing construction of the Oyo-Iseyin road, the Apete-Awotan-Akufo road, the Saki-Ogbooro-Igboho road, the Sabo-Oroki-Asipa road, from Ajia airport The road with a branch to Amuloko, as well as the ongoing construction of four bus stations in Ibadan, and efforts underway to bring Ibadan airport up to standard international, are all part of the government’s deliberate efforts to attract agribusiness investors.
Makinde added that apart from these infrastructure projects, the government will also start, from the first quarter of 2022, to repair more than 1,200 kilometers of roads as part of the rural access and marketing project of the city. ‘agriculture (RAAMP), claiming that this effort will improve the agro-logistics chain. and provide access to local and international markets.
He said, “We made the Oyo State Roadmap to Accelerate Development 2019-2023 and sold it to the people of Oyo State. Understanding this roadmap has essentially guided our decision to make agriculture one of the main engines of the economy of Oyo State between 2019 and 2023.
“So how should this information affect your investment decision? Well, to put it bluntly, our administration did not stumble on the decision to reorganize the development of agribusiness in Oyo state and transform the state from a sleepy agrarian community into an agribusiness hub. flourishing.
“Our efforts are the result of careful planning and strategic thinking and that is why we offer unbeatable incentives to invest in agribusiness in Oyo State.
“First, we created the Agro-Industrial Development Agency of Oyo State (OYSADA). This is to serve as a vehicle to stimulate the development of agro-industry. This has removed administrative bottlenecks that prevent private investors from communicating directly with public office holders.
“One of the most important factors supporting large-scale agri-food production is the availability of arable land. Over 60 percent of Oyo State, 28,500 square meters of land is suitable for agriculture.
“When we entered, we went to brainstorm in the Republic of Benin. We brought in agricultural experts everywhere, then the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture at the time (it was barely three or four months after he took office). He said Oyo State is the largest cassava producer in Nigeria. And when I asked if it was a deliberate commitment, the answer was more like “the farmers were just planting”. But now we are moving towards deliberate efforts, deliberate policies to boost agribusiness in Oyo state. And, in addition, we have abundant sources of fresh water and about three thousand hectares of artificial lakes, which gives us a competitive advantage in fish farming.
Makinde, further enumerated the competitive advantages of the State in the field of agro-industry such as the centralized position of the State of Oyo in the agro-industrial corridor of Nigeria and in particular of the South-West.
He added, “If your logistics involve air travel, we’ve got that covered as well. Work is underway to upgrade Ibadan Airport to the status of an international airport and a freight airport. “
He added that the state was building a 500,000-liter aviation fuel facility at Ibadan airport.
Governor Makinde said there was the political will to make his administration’s agribusiness development reengineering campaign successful, saying the government has achieved what people have so far thought to be impossible. .
“For example, during our first two years in office, we rebuilt the Moniya-Ijaye-Iseyin road, a 65 kilometer road, which connects our food cart, Oke-Ogun and the state capital. We used to travel this route and spend a minimum of three hours. But now it takes 40 minutes.
“In addition, we have started to rebuild the 34.85 kilometer Oyo-Iseyin road, which is a vital economic link with the agro-industrial hub of Fasola. It also leads to the two-lane road connecting Ibadan-Lagos, Ibadan-Ilorin and also the northern part of the country. About 20 percent of the work is even done. What you saw that cut the journey time down to around 20 minutes was just road grading. Now they are going to put asphalt so that it is like the road from Moniya to Iseyin.
“Let me also mention that we have reallocated the 110 km Ibadan Ring Road, which will facilitate some activities towards the Southwest Economic Center. Once on this road, it only takes you a fraction of the time you need now to get to Ife, Lagos or even the airport.
“When you invest in agribusiness in this state, you are assured of a well-trained workforce. We have taken a systematic approach to workforce development. Once again, the DG of IATI just spoke about the STEP program, which we are running in partnership with them.
“Thus, students are introduced to the various links in the agricultural value chain very early on from secondary school.
“We also have the YEAP project for youth entrepreneurship in agribusiness, which offers in-company training to young people in the state. Currently, we have exposed over 1,800 young people to a technology-based farming system. We plan to complete the training of the 10,000 targeted beneficiaries by the end of 2022.
“To this end, we are also in partnership with IATI. We are carrying out a complete rehabilitation of the IITA Agribusiness Youth Incubation Park in Oyo State in Awe. So if you are worried about human resources, we have a well-trained workforce ready to be hired.
“If you also think in terms of subcontracting programs, we have a database of around 20,000 small farmers able to teach, who are ready for a mutually beneficial partnership. With this, you don’t need to leave Oyo state for your research and development, ”the governor added.
The governor explained that some of the incentives available to agribusiness investors include the availability of arable land in agribusiness industrial hubs, which will be managed by private partners, saying that once an investor meets the criteria, he / she will get allocation and will start the Enterprise.
He said these agribusiness industrial centers were the hitherto moribund agricultural estates, noting that the state has started work on Fasola, Akufo and Eruwa, three of the 9 such agricultural establishments, to show the new direction and that this operates at the agro-food industrial center of Fasola. , which serves as the pilot, is already about 50 percent complete.
When completed, the governor said the Fasola Agribusiness Hub will have a recreation center, scenic golf course, emergency fire department, health facilities, apartments for luxury connected with a 24-hour power supply and maximum security and that the hub will offer investment opportunities with agricultural production areas, livestock breeding facilities, production and processing facilities and equipment installations.
He added that a recent trip to France also resulted in efforts for the French government to turn Akufo Agribusiness Hub into a farmers market when it is completed.
Also within the framework of the available incentives, the governor assured investors of a favorable tax policy, as there will be no multiple taxation or tax increases for the foreseeable future.
In the area of security, Governor Makinde also highlighted the availability of the Oyo State Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, which works with the Federal Police to strengthen the security apparatus in rural areas.
Previously, the Director General of the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA), Dr Debo Akande, said that the Makinde administration has set a vision of economic regeneration for the state. of Oyo which is based on the exploitation of our natural economic comparative advantage and underpinned by the development of infrastructure conducive to agro-industry and the development of human capacities.
“The opportunities are endless and in Oyo State investors will find the infrastructure, support and incentives necessary to exploit them,” he said.
He said the government will continue to show unwavering determination to implement proactive and business-friendly policies to ensure an enabling environment for private sector development.