OYO State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has challenged Agricultural Research Institutes and other stakeholders to come up with innovative and proactive ideas that will enhance agriculture development in the country, disclosing that the 28,454 arable land areas in the state remain as a veritable investment destination for local and global investors.
Governor Ajimobi, who spoke at the State Agriculture Investment Summit and Exhibition held at the Conference Centre, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, said that the present administration in the state is focused on the development of agriculture, reiterating that the importance of agriculture in nation building cannot be overemphasized.
He stated that the summit with the theme: “Transforming Oyo State’s Agriculture and Agro-Allied Industry: Private Sector Participation,” was very apt at a time that the country is looking for a permanent solution to the problem of food insecurity, unemployment and retard in rural development as well as obsolete technology in our great nation.
The Governor who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Chief Moses Adeyemo said that the state government has made modest efforts to buttress its unflinching commitment and determination for further agricultural development including the exploitation of value addition in the agricultural chain in Oyo State.
He said that the state government has developed twenty five (25) years Oyo State Agriculture road map as well as nine agro industrial parks in our forest reserves, saying that the state has a realistic Agricultural Land policy of 250,000Ha which provides for allocation of various hectares to individuals, groups and Corporate Bodies for farming.
Sen. Ajimobi said that the State Government through the Oyo State Government Agricultural Initiative (OYSAI) has produced 750 metric tons of maize, 865 metric tons of cassava, adding that there was collaboration with the Dangote Group for massive Rice production.
He noted that the present administration in the state has distributed 7.5 million latest hybrids of cocoa, maize and cashew seedlings to farmers for free as well as the provision of infrastructure for Extension Officers to strengthen extension service delivery to rural farmers.
In his remarks, the Deputy Director of IITA, Dr. Kenton Dashiell called for motivation of Agro dealers to create opportunities for private investors in the agriculture sector.