Oyo State Government commits to transform agriculture

4 September 2019

The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, joined state officials and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector at a retreat in Cotonou, Republic of Benin to chart a course for transforming agriculture in the State. The meetings, which took place from 15 to 19 August, were to design an agribusiness implementation plan for Oyo State.

Oyo State Government commits to transform agriculture
L–R: Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Debo Ogundoyin; Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde; and
IITA Deputy Director-General, Partnerships for Delivery, Kenton Dashiell during the three-day retreat on agribusiness
in Cotonou, Republic of Benin.

The Governor promised officials of the State that the administration will give agriculture the necessary attention  to play its role and transform the economic fortunes of the State.

“I want to assure all the participants that Oyo State will provide the political will needed to make the State the agribusiness hub of Nigeria,” Governor Makinde said at the retreat, which IITA facilitated.

Governor Makinde also promised to attract more private investment to agriculture by providing an enabling environment. He said the State would ensure agribusiness-friendly policies that would boost investor confidence.

Since assumption of office on 29 May 2019, the Governor has pledged to transform the narrative of agriculture with the view to making it the pillar of the State’s economic development. The retreat provided an opportunity for the Governor to unveil his vision for agriculture.

IITA Deputy Director-General, Partnerships for Delivery, Dr Kenton Dashiell, commended the Governor for demonstrating an uncommon leadership style by participating in all the sessions of the three-day retreat.

“I have never seen such a commitment from a Governor… and I believe the document coming out of this retreat will help the State to achieve the vision of an agribusiness hub for Nigeria,” he added.

Dr Martin Fregene, Director for Agriculture and Agro-Allied division at the African Development Bank (AfDB), said the commitment of the State to agriculture was a step in the right direction.

Addressing the Governor he said, “Let me also commend you for organizing this very important meeting and participating fully in it to have a vision and an implementation plan for agribusiness in the State,” he said via Skype. “For Oyo State to move forward in agriculture, you must treat agriculture as a business,” he added.

According to the AfDB director, the Bank would be willing to support the State in its quest to transform agriculture.

The retreat had four sessions comprising: Developing a vision for the State in agriculture, Identifying the obstacles

to the vision, Developing strategic actions to deal with the obstacles to the vision, and Developing an implementation plan.

Adebowale Ak ande, Executive Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture gave a thumbs up to the retreat, adding

that recommendations from the retreat would help the State to achieve its vision of becoming an agribusiness hub.

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