The Oyo State Government has expressed its readiness to strengthen the relationship with agricultural-based institutions in the state to fast track its revitalisation efforts in the sector.
The state commissioner for agriculture and rural development, Ojemuyiwa Ojekunle, stated this during the foundation laying ceremony of the secretariat of the Association of Agricultural Technologists of Nigeria (AAATON) of the National Horticultural Research Institute (HIHORT) Ibadan and the end of year get together.
The commissioner spoke against the backdrop of the demand by the association that the government engage professionals in the field of agriculture to make its quest to revitalise the sector and make it money spinning venture achievable.
He said the present administration in the state was committed to increase the revenue accruable to the people and the state through agriculture.
According to him, government would further collaborate with NIHORT for the agricultural development of the state.
He also disclosed that the 10, 000 capacity silo for grain storage in Awe would soon be completed as the legal tussle over the facility had been resolved.
The chairman of the association, Onyema Uzondu, however, reitrated the need for the government to make use of experts and members of AATON in its quest to develop the agricultural sector.
He said: “We are association of agricultural technologists that covers so many fields of agriculture, we have agriculture engineers that can fabricate agricultural tools and equipments that can aid the technology investments in agriculture, we have people in irrigation, that can bridge the gap of climate issues in agriculture, especially in this crisis period.
”We have many of our members that can be able to offer services, we have retirees that have knowledge and experience that can be of help to the governments on their proposed plans, most of them have been there for 35 years, we have a lot of knowledge that can be used for the current revatilisation of agriculture in Oyo state, so it may be a good opportunity for the government to bring in professionals to sit down with them and discuss the areas where we can be of help to the government.”
Uzondu said part of the aims of setting up the association was to sere as an advisory body to government on agricultural policies and other related issues in the country.