Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde with his state officials is designing an implementation plan to boost agribusiness.
In a 72-hour retreat in Cotonou, Republic of Benin with state officials, the governor said his administration will give agriculture the necessary ‘political will’ to play its role and transform the economic fortune of the state.
The retreat was facilitated by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, 15-19 August.
The institute also in statement said Gov Makinde pledged to attract more private investments to agriculture by providing an enabling environment for the private sector to invest in the state. He said the state would ensure agribusiness-friendly policies that would boost investor confidence.
“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,” Gov Makinde said
Dr Kenton Dashiell, IITA Deputy Director-General, Partnerships for Delivery 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 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 with the African Development Bank said the commitment of the state to agriculture was a step in the right direction.
“Let me also commend you (the governor of Oyo state) 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 added via skype.
Dr. Fregene urged the state government to adopt the agri-business approach to unlock the potential of agriculture in the state.
“For Oyo state to move forward in agriculture, you must treat agriculture as a business,” he explained.
According to the AfDB director, the Bank would be willing to support the state in its quest to transform agriculture.