Oyo State, IITA Seal Pact on Agric Policy, Agribusiness Park

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Oyo State government have signed a treaty to develop an agricultural blueprint for the state, and the establishment of Agribusiness Park.

The agricultural policy, according to a statement signed by IITA Communication & Knowledge Expert, Godwin Atser will clearly outline the opportunities, strengths, weaknesses, threats, and what the state needs to do in the short, medium, and long-term to achieve agricultural transformation.

The second component of the deal is the development of an integrated cassava value chain in Gambari area of the state on about 6,000 hectares. The integrated agribusiness park would be developed in phases, from primary production of roots, construction and installation of machineries and the processing of starch, and ethanol, among others, and marketing of the finished product to industries.

The state Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, represented by Commissioner of Agriculture, Prince Oyewole Oyewumi, at the Funds Release Program, said the project would be funded by the state. ├ČOur aim is to boost food production, create jobs and wealth for our people.├«

Atser disclosed that the initial investment for the first phase of the project would cost N55m, with additional investments expected to come in, as implementation commences, adding that besides the development of an agric policy, the first phase will focus on the cultivation of between 50-150 hectares of cassava.

IITA Deputy Director, Partnerships for Delivery, Dr. Kenton Dashiell, commended the state for engaging IITA and committing resources to finance the project.

We are glad to see Oyo State moving forward with an action-plan to transform agriculture and are honored to be part of their team.IITA Director General, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga said the collaboration goes to show how the state has become serious with agriculture.

Source: The guardian