*By Kazeem Awojoodu, Ibadan.
Governor Makinde has promised that his administration will continue to Re-engineer agribusiness development.
SWIndependentnews.com.ng reports that as part of efforts to achieve Governor Seyi Makinde’s vision of making Oyo state a leader in research stimulated agribusiness as well as become a global producer of high quality and safe agricultural products, a convergence of agric stakeholders, investors and diplomats on Tuesday assembled at the Oyo state agribusiness summit to discuss possibilities and articulate their expectations for Oyo state.
**** PIctures of the Event….
The Executive Governor of Oyo state Engr. Seyi Makinde at the summit called on investors to take advantage of the state numerous competitive potentials particularly available manpower, arable land amongst others to explore the state eco-friendly agric business environment
SWIndependentnews.com.ng further reports that Governor Makinde, said that his administration will continue to re-engineer agribusiness development in Oyo State, with a view to expanding the economy of the state.
The governor, who was speaking at the Oyo State 2021 Agribusiness Summit, held at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, maintained that for agriculture to lift people from poverty to prosperity, it must not only be seen as a tool for rural development, but, specifically, as a business.
While making a presentation titled “Re-engineering Agribusiness Development in Oyo State,” at the Oyo Agribusiness Summit 2021, Makinde enumerated the agribusiness investment potentials of Oyo State to the world, saying that his administration was already in partnership with the government of France and IITA, among others.
Governor Makinde in his keynote address at the 2021 agric business summit held at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan assured both foreign and local investors of adequate security of lives and properties.
The Governor speaking at the summit which have in attendance various diplomats, captains of industries and prospective investors emphasized that the state would not only consider agriculture as a tool for rural development but as a business with great returns on investment.
Makinde while reeling out the many comparative advantages of the state and why investors should take advantage and invest in the state agribusiness hub. He further stressed that the state was intentional in its deliberate effort to stimulate agribusiness and not just mere political rhetorics.
He said that the summit is to showcase the investment potential of Oyo State, adding that it would also enable the state come up with more ways to create incentives to local and international partners.
The governor maintained that the decision to re-engineer agribusiness development in the state followed a set of carefully planned and strategically executed efforts, which, he said, have made the state to be able to offer unbeatable incentives to intending investors in agribusiness in.
Governor Makinde stated that apart from the comparative advantage that the state has in terms of the availability of about 28,500 square kilometers of arable land and abundant freshwater sources as well as 3,000 hectares of artificial lakes, which, he added, give the state a competitive advantage in fish farming.
He added that his administration has embarked on a massive infrastructure development that targets agriculture and agribusiness development.
The governor also said that the construction of the 65-kilometre Moniya-Iseyin arterial road, ongoing construction of Oyo-Iseyin Road, Apete-Awotan-Akufo Road, Saki-Ogbooro-Igboho Road, Sabo-Oroki-Asipa Road, Ajia-Airport Road with a spur to Amuloko, as well as the ongoing construction of four Bus Terminals in Ibadan, and the ongoing efforts to have the Ibadan Airport upgraded to international standard, are all parts of the government’s deliberate efforts to attract agribusiness investors.
Makinde added that apart from these infrastructure projects, the government will also, from the first quarter of 2022, begin fixing over 1,200 kilometres of roads under the Rural Access and Agriculture Marketing Project (RAAMP), saying this effort will improve the agro-logistics chain and provide access to local and international markets.
He said: “We developed the Oyo State roadmap to accelerated development 2019-2023 and we sold it to the people of Oyo State. The understanding of that roadmap essentially informed our decision to make agriculture one of the main drivers of the Oyo State economy between 2019 and 2023.
In his speech at the summit, the president, African Development Bank (AFDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina who was represented by Dr. Martins Fregene the Director of the Agricultural Department of AfDP, encourage the state government to incorporate a competitive agribusiness, cluster stakeholder, build local capacity and climatic adaptation in its strategies.
Also Director General of IITA Dr. Nteranya Sanginga explained that unlike previous administration, Governor Makinde has been serious with developing the state agribusiness with a contribution of over 800 million naira to the sector through IITA, and implore the Governor to leave behind a lasting legacy.
In their various goodwill messages, the Australian high commissioner to Nigeria John Donnelly, Ambassador of France to Nigeria Emmanuelle Blackman and Managing Directors of some banks, commended the state government’s agribusiness drive while imploring on the need to focus on food security, poverty reduction and environmental degradation.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Director General of Oyo state agriculture development agency, Dr. Debo Akande argued that no other state in Nigeria has enormous incentives and reservoir of investment possibilities in agribusiness than Oyo state.
Dr. Debo said, “the presence of all the stakeholders here shows you share a deep interest and commitment to grow Oyo State, and that you have the confidence to take up more investments and explore opportunities for partnerships in our agribusiness sector.
He further stressed that, at the outset of his administration in 2019, Governor Makinde set out an economic regeneration vision for Oyo State that is hinged on harnessing our natural economic comparative advantage, underpinned by the development of agribusiness-enabling infrastructure and human capacity development.
“It is obvious that agriculture is woven into the very fabric of our history and in times past, provided the economic backbone for Oyo State’s uncommon exploits as a state of many firsts and ground-breaking innovations, which earned us the nickname of Nigeria’s Pacesetter state.
“Today, while we still retain our status as south-west Nigeria’s agrarian epicentre, as a leading producer of numerous crops, our once vibrant agriculture sector is more synonymous with poverty and a lack of opportunities than wealth creation and prosperity.
“When we speak of our vision for agriculture and agribusiness, we look not to recapture old glories from an era past, but to take a giant leap into an exciting future full of fantastic opportunities and in which agribusiness holds the key to prosperity and improved social outcomes. Debo said.
Debo said one trillion dollars is the projected value of Africa’s agribusiness market in the coming decade. Throw in the $3.3 trillion market size of the African Continental Free Trade Area and you begin to get a picture of what the future holds in store.
“Africa’s population is projected to cross 2.5 billion people in a few decades with Nigeria accounting for just under a fifth of that number. These people will need food and all manner of agriculture-derived products and services.Nigeria’s livestock farming and processing market is projected to reach $120 billion in a few years, but will it be with the current livestock practise?
“Cashew nut processing offers an $87 million market opportunity, and listen to this, only thirty per cent of the demand for poultry products, a market valued at over $4 billion, is currently being met by domestic producers.
“Ethanol suffers from a 400 million litre supply shortfall, the demand for processed starch is unmet to the tune of 307,000 tonnes.
“Farm mechanisation services, Shea Butter processing, Leather processing, Industrial Aquaculture, Animal Nutrition and Health Services, Pest control and Agro-logistics offer a combined and projected market opportunity topping $40 billion and these are just domestic market opportunities. The opportunities are myriad and in Oyo State, investors will find the enabling infrastructure, support and incentives required to exploit them.
“We have the land, over 2.2 million hectares of land of which eighty-five per cent is arable and suitable for large-scale farming to meet the needs of a growing population and burgeoning middle class.
“We have the water resources more than 5 beautiful perennial rivers, with 15 man-made lakes and over 20 dams suitable for year-round irrigation, fisheries and industrial aquaculture which is the fastest-growing segment of Nigeria’s agriculture industry. We have the numbers, an eight million-strong population of vibrant, talented and industrious people, providing a ready-made market and labour pool.
“We occupy an ideal location at the heart of Nigeria’s agribusiness corridor with a large number of highways and important train connections providing easy access to millions of consumers nationwide, in West Africa and globally. His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde, continues to demonstrate cast-iron determination to implement proactive, business-friendly policies to ensure an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.
“Furthermore, Oyo State has a long history of bridging education, research, and business to meet the needs of its residents and the surrounding areas. We boast as Nigeria’s most robust agri-food research and development ecosystem, with the presence of several leading national and international research institutes including the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) CGIAR Nigeria host center, whose Director-General and my co-boss, Dr Nteranya Saginga, will also address us shortly.
“I look forward to hearing the thoughts of this distinguished visionary, For us in Oyo State, our direction is clear, we will leverage our agricultural comparative advantage, energetic youths, talented workforce, and strategic location as a pathway to millions of consumers in domestic and regional markets to become Sub-Saharan Africa’s number one Agribusiness Hub.
“That is why the Oyo State Government under the leadership of His Excellency, Engineer Seyi Makinde has embarked on a vigorous course of soft and hard infrastructure development to boost the investment profile of the state and enhance the competitiveness of our agribusiness sector. Governor Makinde is implementing several game-changing, transformative infrastructure projects to advance manufacturing and build an industrial base for Oyo State.
“For this reason, Governor Makinde established the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) in April 2020 to facilitate market access, enhance agribusiness competitiveness, and expedite private sector investment flows into the agriculture sector by mobilizing resources for agribusiness and agro-industrial development from domestic and international private actors and development partners.
“The Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA), which I have the privilege of leading, has developed an agribusiness strategy and implementation road map. Oyo state is open for business and OYSADA stands with arms outstretched, willing, ready and eager to provide every kind of support to investors and partners to tap into the enormous investment opportunities in our agribusiness sector.
This summit, over the next two days, will explore a carefully curated agenda that asks and answers all the right question and marks the start of a joint journey that will hopefully lead us towards a more profitable agro-industrial development across Oyo state. Debo said.
Governor Makinde thereafter took a tour of the summit’s exhibition ground to assess agricultural produces and equipment on display.