Uche Usim, Abuja
As the Federal Government works towards weaning the country from total dependence on oil sales, the Osun State Government has announced plans to attract multi-billion Naira investments in agribusiness.
The Governor of the State, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola made the disclosure on Wednesday in Abuja at a strategic meeting with all accredited Ambassadors and High Commissioners in Nigeria.
According to him, there is an urgent need for massive investment in the agricultural sector to engage the teeming youth thereby tackling food shortage and unemployment challenges.
The Governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Agric and Food Security, Kunle Ige said the meeting with Ambassadors was to fine-tune strategies for an international agricultural exhibition and conference to be hosted by Osun State government in November this year.
Aregbesola said that the meeting became imperative as the focus of the Federal Government was to diversify the country’s economy away from oil.
He said agriculture occupied a strategic position in the objectives of government to diversify the economy for inclusive growth and job creation.
To achieve this, he said there was need to invest massively on modern agricultural technologies to increase the yield of farmers.
This, he said, could be done in key areas such as agricultural machinery, biotechnology, software and hardware aqua culture, diary and poultry farming, organic agriculture, post harvest treatment and irrigation and water technology among others.
Aregbesola said if Nigeria’s agricultural potentials were faithfully harnessed, the country would have no reason to depend on oil revenue for survival.
He said the government of Osun state recognised the importance of the agricultural sector, adding that this was why it agreed to host the conference.
He said, “This conference came up at a period when the Federal Government is diversifying the Nigerian economy by enhancing massive influx of agricultural investments into the country.
“Nigeria is a land of abundant opportunities, the largest market economy in Africa with a population of about 200 million people.
“Forty five million Nigerians are into farming. These farmers need your countries agricultural technologies and innovations to increase their agricultural productions.”
The governor said the conference with theme, “Transformation of Nigerian agriculture through sustainable technological innovation,” would provide a platform for manufacturers, researchers, and other investors to proffer solutions to the challenges facing the sector.