Oyo State and IITA seal pact to develop agriculture policy and establish agribusiness park

3 September 2018

IITA and the Oyo State government on 15 August signed a deal to develop an agricultural blueprint for the State and establish an agribusiness park.

The agricultural policy will clearly outline the opportunities, strengths, weaknesses, threats, and more importantly, what the State needs to do in the short, medium, and long term to achieve agricultural transformation.

DDG-P4D Kenton Dashiell (center) receiving one of the checks from Honorable Commissioner Oyewole Oyewumi.
DDG-P4D Kenton Dashiell (center) receiving one of the checks from Honorable Commissioner Oyewole Oyewumi.

The second component of the deal is the development of an integrated cassava value chain in Gambari area of Oyo State on about 6000 hectares. The integrated agribusiness park will be developed in phases, from primary production of roots, construction and installation of machinery, the processing of starch, ethanol etc., and marketing of the finished products to industries.

According to the Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, the project will be funded by the Oyo State government.

“Our aim is to boost food production, create jobs and wealth for our people,” said Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who was represented by the Commissioner of Agriculture, Prince Oyewole Oyewumi at the Funds Release Program.

Initial investment for the first phase of the project will cost N55 million (US$157,777, to be released in two payments of N20 and N35 million);  additional investments are expected to come in as implementation commences. Besides the development of an agricultural policy, this first phase will focus on the cultivation of between 50 and 150 hectares to cassava. The Business Incubation Platform from IITA will execute the cultivation initially.

Dr Kenton Dashiell, IITA Deputy Director, Partnerships for Delivery, commended the State for engaging IITA and committing resources to finance the project.

“We are glad to see Oyo State moving forward with an action plan to transform agriculture and are honored to be part of their team,” Dr Dashiell said.

Located in southwest Nigeria, Oyo State is characterized by derived savanna in the north and Humid Forest in the south. These two agroecologies support a diversity of staple crops such as cassava, maize, soybean, yam, banana/plantain, and cash crops such as cashew and citrus.

“It goes to show how Oyo State has become serious with agriculture,” said Dr Nteranya Sanginga, IITA Director General in a statement from Nairobi.

Under the policy component of the deal, IITA will work with the National Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), the Oyo State Ministry of Agriculture, and the Oyo State Agricultural Development Program. It is envisaged that the policy will drive the agricultural sector by attracting private capital to the State, making it the most-preferred, agro-allied investment destination in Nigeria.

The Director for Development and Delivery, IITA, Dr Alfred Dixon described the event as a significant moment aimed at bringing genuine transformation to Oyo State in general, and resource-poor farmers in particular.

In the last eight years, the Oyo State government has embarked on reforms to transform its economy through diversification with an emphasis on agriculture. The State believes that the era of relying on the  Federal Government for oil revenues will soon be over.

Media contact: Godwin Atser, Communication & Knowledge Expert, g.atser@cgiar.org

About IITA

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is a non-profit institution that generates agricultural innovations to meet Africa’s most pressing challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and natural resource degradation. Working with various partners across sub-Saharan Africa, we improve livelihoods, enhance food and nutrition security, increase employment, and preserve natural resource integrity.

About IITA BIP

The IITA Business Incubation Platform (BIP) incubates technologies developed by IITA with private partners and investors in a sustainable and commercial set up. The BIP also implements mechanized out grower’s programs for various crops.

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