Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has vowed to sustain the efforts geared at reviving agriculture and improving the people’s standard of living.
Also, the Federal Government restated its commitment to provide a more conducive environment for thriving agricultural practice.
Makinde stated this while commissioning Africa’s first agricultural electronic centre, an innovation provided by Farmkonnect Agribusiness Nigeria PLC, in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The Director Agribusiness and Market Development Department of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Amin M. Babandi, said the Federal Government would continue to provide a conducive environment for the private sector to thrive.
The event, held at Basorun area of Ibadan, had lots of dignitaries in and outside the state in attendance. They include the Oyo State Chief of Staff, Chief Bisi Ilaka; the Director General Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency, Dr. Debo Akande; Ekiti State Commissioner for Agriculture, Osun State Commissioner for Agriculture, representatives of the federal government, bank officials, investors and others.
Makinde noted that the state government is working tirelessly to revive the agric sector, having strong belief that when fully harnessed and utilised, could accelerate the state economy and also provide millions of jobs for youths in the state.
He lauded Farmkonnect for bringing such an innovation that would change the face of Agriculture in the country and Africa as a whole to the state.
The Director-General, Oyo State Agri-business Development Agency, Akande, who also congratulated Farmkonnect, explained that the governor to reposition and rejuvenate the sector, has chosen agriculture and agribusiness as priority for the state.
He added that soon the state would experience a positive explosion of the sector.
“The governor has chosen agriculture and agribusiness as priority for the state, and by virtue of that, he has put in place the right type of policy, we are developing infrastructure across the state and this is driving more of the private sector to come to the state to invest in agricultural area.
“This is the explosion we will see, we are profiling them and what we will do according to our model, which is to look at them as a private sector develop, this is good for the growth of the economy, this will support employment generation especially as it’s coming from the youths,” he said.
Director, ABM Department, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Babandi, assured the management of FarmKonnect that government would continue to provide a conducive environment for private sector to thrive, adding that a report of the event will be presented to the minister.
Chief Executive Officer, FarmKonnect, Mr. Azeez Oluwole, while speaking on the electronic centre, disclosed that it has two components FarmKonnect Agricultural Electronic extension Service Centre (FAgEX) and FarmKonnect Institute for Data and Agribusiness Studies (FIDAS).
He says both have the specific goal to provide input services to stakeholders in the agricultural value chains through information technology, training, research and business/professional consulting.
Saheed noted that the initiative was an integral part of its mission to glamourise agricultural practices in Africa, adding that it would contribute to food security and nutrition through agricultural real estate of modern technologies and methodologies.
While speaking further on the importance of food security to national development and peace, he said “food security is the fundamental of every security, if there food insecurity, people will automatically go into crime, when there is scarcity, there be conflicts and that is just the father of war.”
He further adviseds that government should guide the food industry and also come up with policies that would provide food security just like the oil and gas sector.