Osun Produce Board Signs MoU With OSCOTECH On Commercial Agriculture

By Shina Abubakar

In order to boost commercial agriculture in the State of Osun through advance technology, the State Produce Board (OPB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke.

The deal was sealed at the Conference Hall of the institution on Tuesday between  the management of Osun Produce Board led by the Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO, Dr Yemi Adegoke and Osun State College of Technology Governing Council led by the Council Chairman, Professor Layi Fagbenle.

Speaking during the event, the Executive Vice-Chairman of the board, Dr Yemi Adegoke hinted that the signing of the MoU was in line with the vision of the present Government led by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola to boost agricultural production and improve the income for  all  stakeholders in the sector.

Dr Adegoke explained that to achieve the government’s target and vision , it is therefore important to move  away from over 3000 years primitive and subsistence farming method which requires the use of hoes and cutlasses only,  to Mechanised and Commercial farming method which is the only alternative to change the poor condition of farmers and consumers.

He maintained that OSCOTECH, Esa Oke and all other state-owned tertiary institutions are blessed with both human and material resources needed to improve farming method, urging the institutions to establish Commercial Farms, Technology, Research and Demonstration Farms and engage in production of Herbs.

He noted that this will make them a leading light capable of competing with other institutions around the World.

He promised that the Produce Board and Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security will give the institutions all necessary technical support needed to execute the content in the MoU, in order to achieve the target result within a limited period.

In his brief remarks, the College’s Council Chairman, Professor Layi Fagbenle acknowledged that the vision of the government of the State of Osun is a good one and expressed optimism that it will come to reality.

Prof Fagbenle stressed that Nigeria and West Africa sub-region are blessed with fertile agricultural land, good weather and human materials.

He therefore promised that the institution will cue-in and make the vision a reality.

Also speaking, the Acting Rector, Dr Samson Adegoke who described the signing of MoU as a good sign of good thing for the institution, said it is prepared for the task ahead, especially now that it has a department of Agricultural Engineering.

Oyo Govt Signs MoU With Private Sector To Empower Youth In Agric

The Oyo State Government and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) on skills for job component for the 190 Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operations (YESSO) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to empower youths in agribusiness.

Likewise, the state government also signed another MoU with Hills Harvest Limited to boost the production of fruits and vegetables in the state and also tackle the issue of post-harvest losses.

Yomi Oke, commissioner for youth and sports, Oyo state explained at the signing on the MoU that it is part of the prerequisite for any participating state under the YESSO scheme, adding that it is to ensure smooth implementation and sustainability of the operation.

Oke admonished the OPS members to expose the beneficiaries to training that would allow them to compete favourably in the local market, assuring that the state government will adhere strictly to the content in the MoU.

Speaking, Abimbola Adekanmbi, Oyo state commissioner for finance and budget, represented by David Olatunde, permanent secretary in the Ministry, assured the gathering of the prompt release of fund for the programme, noting that it has been included in the current year budget estimate.
In his address, Nasir Ladan, director general of National Directorate of Employment (NDA) who was represented by Safar Adeola, South West Zonal director, encouraged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the opportunity given them to learn.

The representatives of Ibadan Chambers of Commerce, Trades Men and Artisans of Nigeria Association and the Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Enterprise, Sola Abodunrin, Tajudeen Isola and Tunji Aleem charged the beneficiaries to project themselves as good trainees, promising that they will adequately be exposed to the necessary training they deserve.
At the signing of the MoU with Hills Harvest Limited recently, Oyewole Oyewumi, commissioner of agriculture said that the deal signed with the agricultural marketing firm was aimed at preserving perishable produce with limited life span and increase income generation for the farmers.
Oyewole stressed further that the partnership would afford farmers the opportunity to acquire skills that would assist them in producing standard produce suitable for exportation, hinting that cold ware houses will be built in agricultural zones of the state and managed under Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with a view to reducing post-harvest loss to minimal percent.

The commissioner reiterated the commitment of the Oyo State Government in making agriculture a profitable business for all and sundry, saying that the government is on the verge of expanding the dams in the state to make irrigation farming convenient and profitable for concerned farmers.
In his remarks, Deji Rotimi, managing director, Hills Harvest Limited, assured farmers in the state of mutually benefited arrangements by receiving their produce at profitable rates, adding that warehouses will be built based on the climatic condition of each agricultural zones of the state to prevent spoilage and ensuring standards.