Agric-business has been described as a veritable means of economic revival and sustenance which should be embraced by government and the governed.
The former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo stated this while inspecting a 9,000 hectares of rice demonstration farm, a partnership agric-business embarked upon by Obasanjo Farms, the Federal and Ogun State Governments at Eggua, Yewa-North Local Government Area.
Chief Obasanjo who noted that cassava and rice production, embarked upon by the State government were capable of reviving and improving the State’s economy, applauded the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration’s agric-oriented initiatives, challenging Nigerian youths to embrace it, as job and wealth creation opportunities abound in agric-business.
“Agriculture should be taken as a serious business and Ogun State Government has started well by re-opening more avenues for production of rice together with Obasanjo Farms here in Eggua. There are lots of opportunities in it from land preparation, planting, harvesting, marketing, food processing, farm equipment, livestock feed, agro-allied products to industrialisation. Agriculture is where we can create largest number of employment for the population”, he said.
He identified Covid-19 pandemic and insurgency such as; kidnapping, militancy, banditry, herdsmen invasion, as well as poor economic condition as factors affecting agric-business in Nigeria, calling on the citizenry to overcome the challenges through commitment and determination.
The Olubara of Ibara, Oba Olufemi Omolade, acknowledged the State Government’s feat in agriculture, urging private organisations to partner government towards self-sufficiency in food production.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina, said the 9,000 hectares rice demonstration farm was a starting point, noting that with government owned four rice milling factories, rice could be grown in about 10 Local Governments in the State.
He described Chief Obasanjo as one of the foremost successful farmers in Nigeria, which informed the State Government’s decision to partner with him in rice production.
“We are happy to be here with Baba Obasanjo, one of the foremost successful farmers in Nigeria. We are working with investors, youths and successful farmers because we are in the era of ‘grow what you eat and eat what you grow”, he said.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Dotun Sorunke, admonished Nigerians to emulate Chief Obasanjo’s legacy on food production, saying, “age is not a barrier to food production”.
The entourage visited the Oniggua of Eggua, Oba (Dr.) Adeleye Dosunmu, who expressed delight at rice production in his domain.
Other dignitaries during the tour included the former Ogun State Head of Service, Engr. Lanre Bisiriyu, the Project Manager, Value-Chain Development Programme, Mr. Samuel Adeogun, among others.