Oyo State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, on Monday, said his administration is working round the clock to make commercial agriculture the backbone of the state’s economy, by upgrading some farm settlements in the state to agricultural estates.
The governor stated this during an on-the-spot inspection tour of the Akufo farm settlement as well as the inspection of Kartlos Farms Limited, located inside the farm settlement
The governor said Agriculture is where the current administration think the state has a comparative advantage, saying “we are looking at agro-processing to expand our economy. This place used to be a farm settlement but we are upgrading it to a farm estate.”
He added: “People are already there, so we came to find out first hand what is really going on here and how things can be done meaningfully in a way that it can drive the economic expansion agenda of our government.”
Makinde said the state government was ready to partner the private sector to expand the economy of the state in line with one of the four cardinal points of his administration’s service agenda.
He also stated that his administration will incorporate other stakeholders to harness the benefits for the local market and export, adding that a private farm has been using the facility in Akufo farm settlement to produce tomato and pepper through the greenhouse farming approach.
The governor, who expressed delight at how Oyo State has been designated as one of the beneficiaries of the African Development Bank (AfDB) agro-processing zone projects, said the development would be leveraged upon to fulfil local demand.
He said: “Oyo State has also been designated as one of the beneficiaries of the African Development Bank agro-processing zone projects. So, we will first look at how we can fulfil the local demand. After that, we will also look at processing for export.
“So, I am super-excited about the possibilities in this place.”
Speaking earlier, the Executive Adviser to the governor on Agribusiness, Dr. Debo Akande, said the visit was aimed at conducting a field assessment of the current state of the Akufo Farm Settlement before the commencement of the development and upgrade to an agricultural estate.
He added that the state government decided to see its natural state before the commencement of the developmental projects.