Lagos – The Ogun State Government has expressed a desire to strengthen partnership with the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) by exploring other relevant areas of agriculture for the overall development of the state and the nation in general.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs. Adepeju Adebajo who stated this during a courtesy visit on the management of the University lauded the impact of the existing partnership.
Adebajo stated that the State Government is ready to collaborate with the University in the areas of planting and processing of cassava crops, as well as fish and livestock production, in order to boost employment and wealth creation.
The Commissioner commended the University for its support in the production of the recently-launched MITROS Ofada Rice in the State, saying that it was a huge success.
The Commissioner added that the Ministry devised a strategy named AGRIPOLITAN which encompassed planting, processing, packaging, promoting and partnering in all agricultural produce, noting that there was a gap between the demand and supply of agricultural products which is being bridged by the government.
Encouraging more youths and women to participate in agriculture to enhance value-addition, the Commissioner said that the State was emphasizing the value chain and prided itself as the state with the highest number of companies that make use of cassava in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kolawole Salako emphasized the urgency for the country to embrace mechanized farming, noting that cultivation with hoes and cutlasses should be a thing of the past.
According to him, every investment on human labour on the farm should be drastically reduced in order for agriculture to be attractive.
Prof Salako stated that the present status of cassava production in the state though commendable should be enhanced in order to maximize its potentials and markets for cassava and assured that the institution would continue to lend its support to the government’s Ofada rice production.
On the status of the state as the highest producer of cassava crops for industries in the country, Professor Salako encouraged the government to improve on electricity supply and storage facilities to enhance cassava production in Nigeria.
Pledging the University’s support for the activities of the Ministry of Agriculture in the State, the Vice-Chancellor, stated that there was adequate expertise in the University in the areas of cassava, Ofada rice, poultry, tree crops, cotton as well as fruits and vegetable production, among others to assist the State in revolutionising agriculture.