Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Monday, declared the readiness of his administration to upgrade the popular Akufo Farm Settlement to an Agricultural Estate.
The governor stated this during an on-the-spot inspection tour of the Farm Settlement as well as the inspection of Kartlos Farms Limited, located inside the Akufo Farm settlement.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted Governor Makinde as stating that his administration is working round the clock to make commercial agriculture the backbone of the state’s economy by upgrading some farm settlements in the state to Agricultural Estates.
The governor said: “Agriculture is where we think we have comparative advantage and we are looking at agro-processing to expand our economy. This place used to be a farm settlement but we are upgrading it to a farm estate.
“People are already there, so we came to find out, first hand, what is really going on here and how things can be done meaningfully in a way that it can drive the economic expansion agenda of our government.”
Governor Makinde stated that the state government was ready to partner private sector to expand the economy of the state in line with one of the four cardinal points of his government’s service agenda.
He also stated that his administration will incorporate other stakeholders to harness the benefits for the local market and export.
He explained that a private farm has been using the facility in Akufo Farm Settlement to produce tomato and pepper through a greenhouse farming approach.
The governor, who expressed delight at how Oyo State has been designated as one of the beneficiaries of the African Development Bank (AfDB) agro-processing zone projects, said the development would be leveraged upon to fulfil local demand.
He said: “Oyo State has also been designated as one of the beneficiaries of the African Development Bank agro-processing zone projects. So, we will first look at how we can fulfil the local demand. After that, we will also look at processing for export.
“So, I am super-excited about the possibilities in this place.”
Speaking earlier, the Executive Adviser to the governor on Agribusiness, Dr. Debo Akande, said that the trip was aimed at conducting a field assessment of the current state of the Akufo Farm Settlement before the commencement of the development and upgrade to an agricultural estate.
He added that the state government decided to visit the farm to see its natural state before the commencement of the developmental projects.