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.

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​”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.

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