Hope rises as firms move to boost food production in Ogun
Agro Renewal Movement International (ARMI) Limited, in collaboration with Agro Empire Estate, has implemented an agro-allied and processing project in Ogun State to transform and boost the sector.
According to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, ARMI, Mustafa Moshood Adedapo, the project, which sits on 500 acres of farmland, would provide farmers, technicians and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector the opportunity to invest in plantain, livestock and other crops, plant and animal breeding, processing, storage and packaging, as well as artificial dams for irrigation, among others.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of the green estate, Adedapo highlighted the problems facing the sector in Nigeria, ranging from lack of mechanisation, inadequate capital, poor research activities, inadequate transport system and logistics, prevalence of pest and diseases, poor conservation, lack of technical know-how, unattractive agricultural system, poor storage and constant droughts.
He said having carefully evaluated the problems facing the sector, the firms decided to provide a perennial solution to the majority of these problems for all economic players in the agricultural industry.
Adedapo added that the project would not only boost agriculture in Nigeria, but also ensure the produce are of export standards, thereby making the country an agro-tourism spot.
“The Agro Empire Estate was born out of the desire to make agriculture not just profitable but sustainable for many decades. Bearing in mind that agriculture is not a get-rich-quick business; it needs strategic foresight, availability of tools and machineries, good agronomic practices, storage facilities, well-structured market and distribution (logistics) systems, as well as processing centres, before we can confidently say agriculture can be profitable and sustainable.
“One of the advantages of this estate is to increase productivity because when you are creating an enabling environment, you are making it interesting for people to participate. You are also driving it and people have more knowledge and feel comfortable to play their role in the agricultural sector,” he added.
Commending the project, the Ogun State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Adeola Odedina, said it would not only reposition agricultural businesses in the state, but also drive growth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Represented by the Senior Special Assistance to Governor Dapo Abiodun on Agriculture, Dr Angel Adelaja-Kuye, he said there was need to drive inclusiveness in the sector by involving the private sector, community members, youths and women to ensure food production, security and self-sufficiency.
“We need to make sure that as we are building our future together and we are building the agricultural sector, we want to make sure it is inclusive, especially with the involvement of youths and women.
“Food security is not just making sure there is enough to eat in just one place, we want to make sure that the system works and the connection to logistics works, that access to the market works and that our farmers are empowered and making enough money,” he added.