Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state yesterday launched Africa’s first agricultural electronic hub, a novel initiative by Farmkonnect Agribusiness Nigeria PLC domiciled in the city of Ibadan, Oyo state.
Makinde who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Bisi Ilaka, applauded Farmkonnect for bringing such world-changing innovation to Oyo state. He noted that the state government is working assiduously to revive the Agricultural sector. He also shared his conviction that when fully harnessed, such action will greatly increase the state economy and also be a source of employment opportunities to the youths in the state.
In his words: “We are the pace setter state, we are supposed to be home of new ideas, we expect our space to be dynamic, innovative. We want new ideas that can flourish in the state”
“We hope a lot of people can emulate, replicate and build on this wonderful initiative. Things don’t happen accidentally; this is happening because of the kind of leadership we have in the State. This is going to be the beginning, similar things to emerge in the pace setter state. We are opening up the Agric space, we are redefining the space. This is where the redefinition will happen in the south west of the country.”
“If we do the same thing the way we have done in the past, we will continue to get the same result, so if we want to get different result, we have to do it differently, and that’s what we want to do in Oyo state.”
The Director-General, Oyo State Agri-business Development Agency, Dr. Debo Akande while also speaking at the event congratulated management of Farmkonnect for the great achievement and went on to explain that the state governor has made agriculture and agribusiness a priority for the state, adding that soon the state will experience a positive explosion of the sector .
“The governor has chosen agriculture and agribusiness as priority for the state, and by virtue of that, he has put in place the right type of policy. We are developing infrastructure across the state, and this is driving more of the private sector to come to the state to invest in agricultural area.”
The South-West Director of Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Marcus Ogunbiyi, who was also overwhelmed at the twenty first century innovation, assured FarmKonnect’s management of the Federal Government’s dedication to providing a conducive environment for the private sector to thrive and added that a report of what transpired at the event would be presented to the Minister of Agriculture.
The Chief Executive Officer, FarmKonnect; Mr. Azeez Oluwole while speaking about the electronic center disclosed that it has two components: FarmKonnect Agricultural Electronic Extension Service Center (FAgEX), and FarmKonnect Institute for Data and Agribusiness Studies (FIDAS).
He said both have the specific goal to provide input services to stakeholders in the agricultural value chains through information technology, training, research and business/professional consulting.
Saheed noted that the initiative was an integral part of its mission to glamourize agricultural practices in Africa, adding that it would contribute to food security and nutrition through agricultural real estate of modern technologies and methodologies.
Speaking further on the importance of food security to national development and peace, he said “food security is the fundamental of every security, if there is food insecurity, people will automatically go into crime, when there is scarcity, there will be conflicts and that is just the father of war”.
He further advised that government should guide the food industry and also come up with policies that will provide food security just like the oil and gas sector.