Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has said that all machinery have been put in place to establish and package Shea Butter across the state for global transaction as well as providing employment opportunity for the citizenry.
He stated this during a town hall sensitization meeting on Shea butter production with the representatives of Shea butter producers in Saki West, Saki East and Atisbo local Governments held at Saki West Secretariat recently.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Bureau of investment and Public Partnership, Mrs. Folakemi Akinleye, Governor Ajimobi said that it was imperative to turn available natural resources into wealth by improving on the production, processing and packaging of agricultural produce for reliable marketing platform in order for the state to compete favourably in both local and international Markets.
He implored the tree fellers to desist from cutting Karite Shea butter trees, palm kernel trees, adding that they should rather support the government in its preservation programme.
Speaking at the event, the commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture Natural Resources and Rural Development, Mr. Oyewole Oyewumi, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Victor Atilola noted that the programme was meant to expose Shea butter producers to modern ways of producing the products and its benefits.
Mr. Oyewumi urged the Shea Butter producers and other stakeholders to utilize government opportunity by identifying genuine land to be allocated to individuals/groups that are willing to invest in the state.
In a related development, the Oyo State government has trained cassava/rice farmers in the state who are beneficiaries of the FADAMA III project.
In his speech at the at the pre-disbursement and capacity building training for the cassava/rice farmers held at the Farmers Hall, OYSADEP building Ibadan, the state commissioner for Agriculture Natural Resources and Rural Development, Mr. Oyewole Oyewumi said the state government was set to fully participate in the new Federal Government’s agricultural promotion policy 2016-2020 tagged: The Green Alternative, saying that, the state would take advantage of the policy to have additional agricultural extension workers that would disseminate improved agricultural technologies to our farmers.
He explained that the pre-disbursement training for cassava and rice farmers was designed to build and improve their capacities for increased crops production and overall implementation of FADAMA III Additional Financing Project.
According to the commissioner, “statistics and evidence show that Oyo state is a leading producer of cassava and therefore, we are selected for production of cassava and rice under the FADAMA III additional financing programme. This is also due to the comparative production advantage and capacity of the state in the production of these two major staple crops.”
Mr. Oyewumi pointed out that the recently launched the Oyo State Agricultural Initiative (OYSAI) by the state government was aimed at promoting agricultural production as well as encourage youths’ involvement in agriculture through land allocation to interested individuals and provisions of inputs support.
In his remark, the state project Coordinator, FADAMA III Additional Financing Project, Mr. Nathaniel Olayinka, said that farmers in 14 Local Government Areas of the state have fulfilled all the necessary requirements to benefit from the programme.
Mr. Olayinka further stressed that the objectives of the training/workshop were to communicate the roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholders involved in the implementation of the project and to build the capacities of the beneficiaries to increase their productivity.