By Suliyat Odunayo, Ibadan
Dr. Debo Akande of OYSADA has confirmed that Gov Makinde’s commitment to agriculture is yielding good results.
Naijanewshub.com.ng reports that the Director General of OYSADA, Dr. Debo Akande has said that there is no doubt that the efforts of Governor Seyi Makinde led administration in agribusiness is already yielding positive results through increment of internal generated revenue and job creation opportunities.
Dr. Akande made this confirmation on Wednesday at the Fasola Farm in Oyo while welcoming Mr. Ben Langat, the Managing Director of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria PLC who led other members of the company on facility tour of the farm.
Mr. Ben and his team were conducted round the Fasola Farm following their readiness to set up a milk collection center through dairy livestock farming within the facility, by the Executive Adviser to Governor Makinde on Agribusiness, Dr. Debo Akande, who also doubles as the Director General of Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA).
Speaking with journalists shortly after the facility tour, Dr. Debo said, “We have ensure that our agricultural hubs are going to be completely private sector driven, one of the thing that created problem for all of those farm settlement we have in the past is that they are public sector driven.”
“We have said that this is going to be private sector driven, and in so doing we are attracting the investors that has the capability to run the hub, Fasola Farm was actually known for livestock farming for many years and the work we’ve been doing in terms of livestock has created impact across the whole part of the state, so what we are doing now is to bring back the glory of the past but in a different way, because what our milk collection partner investor are known for is dairy and livestock, so we will be seen a manifestation of modern approach in livestock and dairy production within this particular facility that we have and to me I think that is quite significant.” Akande said.
While talking about the state government gains, Dr. Akande said that “the state government is already generating revenue because this farm is not given free to our milk investor company, they are paying lease on the land there are using, they have already paid, and they will be paying annually for the next twenty years, and this is not limited only to our milk collection partner but also to other investors here, all of them are here on lease, government is going to generate chunk of their lease at the first year and also be generating lease payment for the next twenty years from all these private companies, that is part one of the revenue.”
“The part two of it is that they will also be paying taxes at different points or the other, and part three is that they will be employing quite a lot of our people within the state that have the skills set to work within that particular location and part four is that we have something to show other investors what we have in stock to come and see, so if we said we are opening up another area they already see the possibility, so with all these I see this as a big win for Oyo state and I think this is marking a new begining as far as agribusiness is concern in the state. Akande said.
While speaking about the attractive qualities of the farm to investors by Akande said, “Even though we have been doing much with our partner in terms of milk collection as we’ve seen today we have just witnessed where pasture were grown all over the places and this is one of the major investment area for any dairy production, I have learn a lot when I travelled to see where majority of this works have been done by our milk partnering investor in far away Netherlands and I’m very sure that once you can overcome the problem of feeds, then you have probably overcome high percentage of your investment and that is what we are doing here in terms of feeds for livestock.”
“Beyond that as well, we will also be engaging in the issue of milk production here, we will be engaging our youths in milk production and that is going to be a whole dairy and livestock value chain that we will be scaling within this particular location. This is not what government has responsibility to do, as you normally hear our governor saying that there is no business of government in business and that is the reality of what we have seen here today.” Akande said.
The beneficiaries of the state Youth Enterprenuership In Agribusiness Project (YEAP) who have already cultivated up to 45% of the hundred hectares of land allocated to them were also on ground to welcome the OYSADA DG and the private investors who are now their direct neighbour.
Addressing the YEAP beneficiaries, Dr. Akande commended them for the level of consistence and commitment shown to their jobs.
He said, “YEAP beneficiaries have been able to cultivate 45% out of the hundred hectares allocated for them, and it is very commendable, they’ve shown interest in the area of cassava product when they finish, and they will be leveraging on stems, because we can also use it in the state for our farmers because not only cassava tuber that is profitable but also the stems.”
Akande however charged the beneficiaries to continue working with such energy. He said, “most of the YEAP beneficiaries unknown to them with the ongoing state government plan on livestock can be engage for pasture production but that is in the pipeline, but we are also looking at other areas but that will be done in partnership with our dairy company investor for a good number of them have been very consistent, it is not easy to farm but good number of them have been very consistent, coming to their farm regularly and managing things themselves.”