The Oyo State Government has reiterated its readiness to partner with more foreign and local investors to further promote large scale livestock farming for the economic development of the state.
Mr. Olalekan Alli, Secretary to the State Government, representing Governor Abiola Ajimobi, stated this while declaring open the Nigeria Poultry and Livestock Expo held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan recently.
He disclosed that the state government has taken some giant steps in promoting agriculture, especially in the livestock and fishery industries that indigenous farmers in the state have benefitted from immensely.
Alli, who led a government delegation including Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development and his counterpart in Information, Culture and Tourism as well as the Special Adviser on Agriculture to Governor Ajimobi, said that the current administration in the state has created a conducive environment for farmers and investors to operate.
He said that this has ensured growth in business and economic development of the state.
“The state government, in collaboration with the Federal Government and a private company, WAMCO Friesland, established five milk collection centres in various parts of the State.
“The centres are at Fasola, Maya, Alaga, Iseyin and Saki. This is in order to improve our cattle farmers and empower the women in the state,” he stressed.
Mr. Alli further revealed that the state government has partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on a programme tagged CBN/OYSG Loan Scheme for farmers at 5 percent interest rate to boost agriculture in the state, noting that interested farmers could source for the loan at the Ministry of Trade, Investment and Cooperatives.
He explained that the state government has created Free Trade Zone, Industrial Park, Agriculture Zone, stressing that there was an ongoing rehabilitation of farm settlements across the state to ensure that Oyo State remained not just the food basket of the South West but also of the Nigerian nation.
He therefore enjoined participants at the international exhibition to explore the latest technology in poultry, dairy, livestock and fishery farming, saying that this would solve the problems facing the livestock industry.
Earlier in his remarks, the Keynote Speaker, Dr. Oyedele Oyediji commended the state government for improving livestock industry standards in the state, appealing that the state government should put more efforts into making livestock farming profitable to local farmers.
Also, Ms. Rike Akinbamo, the LOC Chairperson, noted that the conference was organised for networking between local livestock farmers, international organisations and foreign investors in of livestock farming.
In his words, an exhibitor at the NIPOLI, Dr. Shashikant Teltumbade, noted that the exhibition would further strengthen bilateral relationship between foreign and local farmers in the state as well as boost the agricultural sector.