Oyo Agribusiness Summit: Makinde Markets State Potentials To Investors As AfDB Boss, Adesina Assures Of Support

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By Henry Odeh

 

 

Oyo Agribusiness Summit: Makinde Markets State Potentials To Investors As AfDB Boss, Adesina Assures Of Support

 

 

As part of efforts to further develop and achieve his economic blueprint, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state on Tuesday at a state sponsored international Agribusiness Summit marketed the state resources as well as it’s potentials to both local and international investors.

The Governor also harped on research stimulated agribusiness as well as the potentials of Oyo state becoming a global producer of high quality and safe agricultural products while also assuring investors of adequate security for lives and properties in the state.

Makinde made this canvases at the Oyo 2021 Agribusiness Summit held at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital today (Tuesday) 26th of October while delivering his speech before global investors and diplomats in who converged in the Oyo state for the summit.

 

Makinde called on investors to take advanatage of the state numerous competitive potentials particularly the available manpower, arable land amongst others to explore the state eco-friendly agribusiness environment.

The summit had in attendance diplomats, captains of industries and prospective investors from within Nigeria and the global community.

Makinde stressed that the state was not only considering agriculture as a strategic tool for rural development but also as a business with great returns on investment.

The Governor, while reeling out the many comparative advantages of the state and why investors should take advantage and invest in the state agribusiness hub stressed that the state was intentional in its deliberate effort to stimulate agribusiness and not just mere political rhetorics.

In his speech at the summit, the president, African Development Bank (AFDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina who was represented by Dr. Martins Fregene the Director of the Agricultural Department of AfDP, encourage the state government to incorporate a competitive agribusiness, cluster stakeholder, build local capacity and climatic adaptation in its strategies.

Also Director General of IITA Dr. Nteranya Sanginga explained that unlike previous administration, Governor Makinde has been serious with developing the state agribusiness with a contribution of over 800 million naira to the sector through IITA, and implore the Governor to leave behind a lasting legacy.

In their various goodwill messages, the Australian high commissioner to Nigeria John Donnelly, Ambassador of France to Nigeria Emmanuelle Blackman and Managing Directors of some banks, commended the state government’s agribusiness drive while imploring on the need to focus on food security, poverty reduction and environmental degradation.

Earlier in a welcome address, the Director General of Oyo state agriculture development agency, Dr. Debo Akande argued that no other state in Nigeria has enormous incentives and reservoir of investment possibilities in agribusiness than Oyo state.

Dr. Debo said, “the presence of all the stakeholders here shows that you share a deep interest and commitment to grow Oyo State, and that you have the confidence to take up more investments and explore opportunities for partnerships in our agribusiness sector.

He further stressed that, at the outset of his administration in 2019, Governor Makinde set out an economic regeneration vision for Oyo State that is hinged on harnessing the state’s natural economic comparative advantage, underpinned by the development of agribusiness-enabling infrastructure and human capacity development.

“It is obvious that agriculture is woven into the very fabric of our history and in times past, provided the economic backbone for Oyo State’s uncommon exploits as a state of many firsts and ground-breaking innovations, which earned us the nickname of Nigeria’s Pacesetter state.

“Today, while we still retain our status as south-west Nigeria’s agrarian epicentre, as a leading producer of numerous crops, our once vibrant agriculture sector is more synonymous with poverty and a lack of opportunities than wealth creation and prosperity.

“When we speak of our vision for agriculture and agribusiness, we look not to recapture old glories from an era past, but to take a giant leap into an exciting future full of fantastic opportunities and in which agribusiness holds the key to prosperity and improved social outcomes. Debo said.

Debo said one trillion dollars is the projected value of Africa’s agribusiness market in the coming decade. Throw in the $3.3 trillion market size of the African Continental Free Trade Area and you begin to get a picture of what the future holds in store.

“Africa’s population is projected to cross 2.5 billion people in a few decades with Nigeria accounting for just under a fifth of that number. These people will need food and all manner of agriculture-derived products and services.Nigeria’s livestock farming and processing market is projected to reach $120 billion in a few years, but will it be with the current livestock practise?

“Cashew nut processing offers an $87 million market opportunity, and listen to this, only thirty per cent of the demand for poultry products, a market valued at over $4 billion, is currently being met by domestic producers.

“Ethanol suffers from a 400 million litre supply shortfall, the demand for processed starch is unmet to the tune of 307,000 tonnes.

“Farm mechanisation services, Shea Butter processing, Leather processing, Industrial Aquaculture, Animal Nutrition and Health Services, Pest control and Agro-logistics offer a combined and projected market opportunity topping $40 billion and these are just domestic market opportunities. The opportunities are myriad and in Oyo State, investors will find the enabling infrastructure, support and incentives required to exploit them.

“We have the land, over 2.2 million hectares of land of which eighty-five per cent is arable and suitable for large-scale farming to meet the needs of a growing population and burgeoning middle class.

“We have the water resources more than 5 beautiful perennial rivers, with 15 man-made lakes and over 20 dams suitable for year-round irrigation, fisheries and industrial aquaculture which is the fastest-growing segment of Nigeria’s agriculture industry. We have the numbers, an eight million-strong population of vibrant, talented and industrious people, providing a ready-made market and labour pool.

“We occupy an ideal location at the heart of Nigeria’s agribusiness corridor with a large number of highways and important train connections providing easy access to millions of consumers nationwide, in West Africa and globally. His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde, continues to demonstrate cast-iron determination to implement proactive, business-friendly policies to ensure an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.

“Furthermore, Oyo State has a long history of bridging education, research, and business to meet the needs of its residents and the surrounding areas. We boast as Nigeria’s most robust agri-food research and development ecosystem, with the presence of several leading national and international research institutes including the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) CGIAR Nigeria host center, whose Director-General and my co-boss, Dr Nteranya Saginga, will also address us shortly.

“I look forward to hearing the thoughts of this distinguished visionary, For us in Oyo State, our direction is clear, we will leverage our agricultural comparative advantage, energetic youths, talented workforce, and strategic location as a pathway to millions of consumers in domestic and regional markets to become Sub-Saharan Africa’s number one Agribusiness Hub.

“That is why the Oyo State Government under the leadership of His Excellency, Engineer Seyi Makinde has embarked on a vigorous course of soft and hard infrastructure development to boost the investment profile of the state and enhance the competitiveness of our agribusiness sector. Governor Makinde is implementing several game-changing, transformative infrastructure projects to advance manufacturing and build an industrial base for Oyo State.

“For this reason, Governor Makinde established the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) in April 2020 to facilitate market access, enhance agribusiness competitiveness, and expedite private sector investment flows into the agriculture sector by mobilizing resources for agribusiness and agro-industrial development from domestic and international private actors and development partners.

“The Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA), which I have the privilege of leading, has developed an agribusiness strategy and implementation road map. Oyo state is open for business and OYSADA stands with arms outstretched, willing, ready and eager to provide every kind of support to investors and partners to tap into the enormous investment opportunities in our agribusiness sector.

“This summit, over the next two days, will explore a carefully curated agenda that asks and answers all the right question and marks the start of a joint journey that will hopefully lead us towards a more profitable agro-industrial development across Oyo state.” Dr Akande said.

One of the highlights of the summit included a tour of the summit’s exhibition ground by Governor Makinde accompanied by other dignitaries present to assess agricultural produce and equipments on display.

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