By Henry Odeh
FarmKonnect Agribusiness Nigeria Limited has unveiled agricultural greenhouse ‘Wave City” in Wasimi, Osun State to promote food sufficiency, national development and agricultural inclusion.
The founder of FarmKonnect, Mr Oluwole Azeez, who is a retired naval commander from the Nigerian Navy, made this disclosure at the inauguration ceremony on Tuesday, adding that the project was the first of its kind in Nigeria.
According to Mr Azeez, the project is targeted at taking agriculture from just planting and money making to a business that promotes food sufficiency and national development.
He said: “in FarmKonnect, we run a model we call agricultural real estate and we are the first to do that, this allows multiple people to own a portion of the farm and they don’t necessarily have to step on the farm.
“All they just need to do is engage their money and we take all the performances around. The greenhouses you are seeing here are specifically designed the tropic, the vision therefore, is to build 1,000,000 square metres of greenhouses.
“A controlled farming environment technology using greenhouses and net houses to produce fruits and leafy vegetables from tomatoes to pepper being the first of its kind in Nigeria.
This is specifically designed for minimal electricity as well as to expand our yield.
He appreciated the Osun State Government for its tremendous support to the project and promised the state would ensure food sufficiency and job creation.”
Mr. Adewole Adedayo, Osun State Commissioner for Agriculture, thanked Azeez for bringing the project to the state, assuring other investors of their readiness to welcome them to the state.
Adedayo said that the state government under Gov. Gboyega Oyetola has created enabling environment for investors and supported agricultural development through various initiatives.
“Today, I believe FarmKonnect are now realising a dream that started about three years ago. Today, having FarmKonnect in Osun State is another dream.
“Today, having these facilities on ground to develop agriculture in the south-west is a dream realised. So FarmKonnect has realised a dream.
“Like I keep saying, agriculture has the highest potentials to create jobs, both for skilled and unskilled labour. So, I will like to thank FarmKonnect for bringing this project to Osun State,” he said
He said that the state government would always support any investment or initiatives targeted at youth empowerment and job creation.
Also, Dr Bosade Ogunlana, the founder, Entrepreneurship Initiative, commended the FarmKonnect on the project, saying it would help a lot in empowering the youths.
She said that Africa has more youths that would engage in land cultivation towards food sufficiency and security.
“Africa is the biggest gun of the world because over 60 percent of arable land in the entire world resides in Africa. I know with something like this happening here today, there is hope for Nigeria.
“Agriculture is the new gold, there is no longer oil. There is nothing we want to do with oil. Agriculture can help us with the GDP of the economy.
“It can help us to engage the youths. It can help us to ensure there is no scarcity of food,” she said.
Ogunlana appreciated the Osun State Government for its support to FarmKonnect, urging the government to ensure adequate security for the project.
The event held in compliance with COVID-19, featured the unveiling of the tomato Statue and facility tour.
The event was also attended by Mr Yemi Lawal, the State Commissioner for Youth and Sports as well as representatives of the various partners of FarmKonnect.