By Suliyat Odunayo, Ibadan
Local Fabricators have been trained on clustering Operation, food security among others in Ibadan.
Naijanewshib.com.ng reports that Oyo state government in conjunction with concerned agencies on agribusiness on Tuesday in Ibadan the Capital City of the state, engaged local fabricators selected from all geo political zones of the state in a day stakeholders meeting on ways to enhance food security in the state and the country at large.
The local fabricators were also advised to start working in cluster to attract government intervention programmes that can boost their productivity level, as well as boosting food production level in Oyo state and Nigeria at large.
Speaking at the program that was jointly organized by Oyo state government, PiLAF (an innovation lab for policy leadership in agricultural and food security), and the international Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the Executive Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde, on Agribusiness Dr. Debo Akande maintained that the fabrication sector play a critical roles in sustaining food production in larger quantities to the society, noting that there is need for government at all levels to support them.
The program titled, Oyo State Agricultural Stakeholders Meeting, held at the Seminar Room of the International Conference Center of University of Ibadan had in attendance stakeholders from the mainstream to the downstream value chain of the agribusiness in the state.
Dr. Debo Akande, the Director General of Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA), who also doubles as the Director at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in his words said, ” This is the second section of this program where we are having discussion with our stakeholders in fabrication sectors of agriculture in Oyo state.
He further said that, “Many at times when we talked about agricultural equipments we most forget that we have people locally that has capacity to fabricate equipments, though they might not have been fabricating it to the exact prescriptions that we want but it is essential for us to look at what we can do to support them to be better.”
“As local manufacturers which we have many of them in Oyo state now we are coming together in groups to look at the constraints to the issues facing the local fabricators and we have been looking at those constraints from the global, national and local perspectives and beyond the constraints, we are also here look at the possible solutions to those aforementioned constraints, what is in place by the government in order to be able to support their different ideas.”
“My responsibility here today is to educate the general public on what the government of the day is doing to support the fabricators because they are part of our stakeholders, they are very important part of our agricultural sector, again when we are talking about agricultural sector this is what we are talking about because in agribusiness people always thought it is strictly meant for crop production alone, this is beyond that, it entails all the value chains on that sector, agriculture has arrays of value chains from the mainstream and to the downstream.”
“We have crop production, we have issue of equipment fabrications, we have the issues if processing, we have issues of logistics, we have aggregation among others, this is one of the agricultural value chain we are talking about today, and all these value chains within the agricultural value chains are what the state government is looking at and provide support for.”
“The most important thing that the state is doing currently is providing enabling environment for our fabricators in the state to thrive, we are very concerned about providing the needed resources for the local fabricators for us to better our own equipments, nobody would tell you to rather focus on the local equipment than buying from overseas when you look at the comparative cost attached to that what are buying from the overseas, most especially when they are producing very effective tools here.
“The second thing is that because they are locally produced when anything happens you will know the exact place to go and fix it properly. We need to put a specific fund in place for the issue of fabrications at the federal level, so that when we are talking about agribusiness, like diversifying from mono economic to agricultural based economy, how much resources are we putting into the factor that determine that gold, mechanization and agric equipment are key components, because if we are talking about agribusiness and agro economy and if we are talking about large scale agriculture we cannot be talking about using cutlass and hoes alone.”
“So if you’re not putting your money where your money is, then you should not expect any magic, for us as a country that is the major area I think we need to focus on now.The issue surrounding the fabrications has three dimensions, that is global dimension, national dimension and local dimension, that means we are not living in isolation, we need to out all those three into perspective when we are making decision and for instance the issue of diesel is beyond the power of the state, or the ability of the state to do anything around that area, the power supply is not also in the purview of the state, having said that because of Oyo state government have a strategies in place, we have a plan, we are not doing anything accidentally, what we are doing are delibrate actions that is within our strategy, just a couple of weeks ago the state government commissioned the gas plant project within the state, that means we are having alternative means of energy only that at the early stage that project the gas energy will be supply in clustered industrial hubs and that is why I said we need to start looking at clustering our activities even as fabricators, so that when government want to have an intervention they can do it collectively.
“The government can approach the issue collectively only when they are operating in clustering, with that they can start give their own interventions, I’m not saying this will overall substitute the issue of the diesel but it will ameliorate the issue of energy within that particular space.”
“This are the kind of the issues that we as a state are already working on, these are what we are already engaging on, the state are already building industrial hubs as we are aware and all these industrial hubs are meant for our farmers across diverse areas, and withing these facilities we have equipment centers, and every other areas in agriculture, and we’re bringing gas into it, so we are looking at all those things that are impendements for agriculture and this kind of fabrications sector in the past, that is what we are doing at the state level, and at the federal government level I think we will continue to encourage them to do the right thing, to follow the right processes and polices because these things while things is about making the right policies and implementation and not about rocket sciences.” Akande said.
In his contributions the senior researcher and an administrator at Policy Leadership In Agricultural And Food Security (PiLAF) situated at the University of Ibadan, Mr. Iredele Ogunbayo said, “Pilaf is a policy research center, that kicked off project on agriculture value chain, specifically the poultry value chain with the aim to sustain food security in the society.
He said, “We realized that agriculture value chain have been sidelined over the years when it comes to policy for them or intervention funds for them, so some months ago we organized a workshop for them and they attended the workshop from all the geo political zones of the state, the event was done in collaboration with IITA, and today is a follow up to that, at the end of the event we had three months ago, we are able to galvanized the fabricators into groups, and put them into groups in accordance with their region and LGAs.”
“So for today’s event we now invited the heads of those groups because we understand that, there is need for us to bring together the farmers, fabricators, researchers, scientists from IITA, government representatives, the OYSADA DG, Dr Debo Akande and other stakeholders along the value chain on the need to be properly inform about the need like machineries, tools and materials that can aids their works, and we are so happy the today’s event has really addressed and has really yielded what we had in planned for.”
He further said, “Policy are made to guide the operational mode of every organizations, like I said earlier that there is no policy for agriculture fabricators in the state, though I don’t know so much about the federal level but what we are currently doing at the state level will be adopted at the federal level, the paucity of fund is a general issue that affect all sectors of economic productions, because all producers required capital to produce.”
“This gathering is going to address the needs of fabricators and farmers at large because we have invited all the stakeholders, we have not limited ourselves to researchers alone, there is a general saying that academics and researchers likes speaking alone to themselves but that will not solve the problem so we have being together critical stakeholders and everybody have make comments, contributions and suggestions that are going to be use to help in creating or initiating policies that are going to better the lives of fabricators and our farmers.”
“Though we are currently at the agenda setting, and in policy making we have five stages like agenda setting, adoption is the next stage, then implementation next before policy evaluation and for now we are still at the agenda setting and we believed that by the time we are through with all the stages we are going to have a policy that is going to be effective and in favour of our fabricators and our farmers at large.” Ogunbayo said.