Governor Seyi Makinde has signed the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) Bill into law.
The bill which was passed earlier this year by the lawmakers was assented by Mr Makinde on Thursday.
The speaker of state, Debo Ogundoyin, noted that the agency will be saddled with the duties of providing intensive agricultural extension services to facilitate the rapid development of the State’s agriculture.
“The overall goal of this agency is to attract both local and foreign agro-investment, which will encourage efficient agricultural production and improve the income and standard of living of rural families in the State.”
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the signing ceremony took place at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, the state capital.
Speaking shortly after signing the bill into law, Governor Makinde said: “I have just signed the law to make provision for the establishment, composition and powers of the Oyo State Agribusiness Agency and every other matter connected therewith.
“Agribusiness is one of the cardinal programmes of this administration and what we have done today is to give legal backing to Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency.”
The governor said that the signing of the Agency bill into law would allow the Agency, which is based in Saki, to start work fully and to kickstart the operation of the Farm Estates projects in Eruwa in Ibarapa axis and Akufo, Ibadan.
“With the signing into law of the Agency bill, they are now free to start business as OYSADA. They will be based in Saki and they will be starting the first two projects as soon as possible. The first is the Farm Estate at Eruwa and the second is the farm estate at Akufo. So, I thank you for coming to witness this signing ceremony,” the governor said.
He said that the state decided to sign off on the bill at this critical time in readiness for the expected boom in its economy through the derivable benefits from agribusiness initiatives.
Giving further insights into the advantages the state stands to gain from the Agency, the governor said: “The agency aims to develop the strategy, coordinate, and implement Agribusiness Investments and projects in the State through public, private and development partnerships.
It will also enhance the optimisation of agro-food value chain business within Oyo state through an agricultural ecosystem that strengthens productivity, value chain growth and the processing and packaging of agro-based production.
“The Agency will support the State’s economic growth through engagement in domestic trade in agro-food by import substitution and exportation of nutritious processed and package agro-based products.
“Another benefit derivable from the Agency is that it will promote engagement of youth in agriculture through the development of agribusiness enterprises from downstream, midstream to the upstream of the agricultural sector.”
Also speaking on the signing of the bill into law, the Executive Adviser to the Governor on Agribusiness, Dr. Debo Akande, said that the signing of the bill was meant to put in motion the plan of the State with regards to developing Oyo State and its agribusiness sector of the country.
“This bill as stated by His Excellency, Engineer Seyi Makinde, is to put in motion the plan of the State with regards to developing Oyo State and the agribusiness of the country (if we can say that) and Africa as a whole,” he said.
The governor’s aide added: “Agriculture, as we have known for a very long time, has been practised in this State but practiced differently.“So, our grandfathers and grandmothers have done their best in a way that we know agriculture should be done. But now, there are modern approaches that need to be adopted in agricultural practices”.
According to Akande, the state aims to move from micro to small and medium enterprises in agriculture by adopting modern technology and approaches to agricultural business in the State.
He said: “There is a need to engage in the business dimension, management dimension and different actors will have to be engaged in this new approach. For this to happen, we need to have a system that can respond to their needs in place, and which can also respond to their ways of doing things. In this case, I am making reference to companies that are going to be working with us in terms of the private sector that are engaging in agribusiness.
“We want to move from micro to small and medium enterprises in agriculture. Engaging using modern technology and approaches in agriculture as well.”
The statement also quoted Akande as commending Makinde for conceptualising the law, adding that the newly assented bill would change the course of practicing agriculture in the State completely.
He also stated that the governor’s decision to sign the bill into law was a show of his commitment to Agribusiness.