Oyo State governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, has hinted that the state government is planning to invest massively in the establishment of central fish market to further boost the economy of the state and make fish availability abundant for the consumption of the people.
According to the Nigerian Tribune, the governor made this known during the Oyo State Agribusiness Strategic Planning Retreat which held in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
He noted that he had been able to identify aquaculture as a key area of agriculture to strengthen the economy of the state, adding that Oyo State has some of the best conditions for raising market-ready catfish and tilapia in Nigeria.
“There is a market for fish, But, Oyo State does not have a central fish market. I am determined to invest in this area as promised during my campaigns, before the completion of my one year in office. We will have a functioning central fish market in Oyo State,” Makinde said.
Speaking further, Makinde identified storage facilities as one of the major challenges being faced by farmers, saying:”In Oyo State, we have a facility that can store up to 10,000 metric tonnes of grain. Plans are in top gear to ensure that the automated silos are completed and put into use. It will be operated on a Public-Private Partnership basis.”
He also disclosed that opportunities abound in fruit processing.
“Oyo State has an existing horticulture industry. We have the popular Ogbomoso mango. Meat processing and cassava processing are also areas we are considering for focus in investment in the long term.
“Saying that agriculture is Oyo State’s key for unlocking the economic prosperity in the state is not mere rhetoric. But, despite being 100 per cent non-oil based economy, agriculture contributes a mere 24 per cent to our nominal GDP.
“My vision is to help farmers see they are part of a larger chain and that their approach to farming can either help the system grow or keep it moribund. For the agric sector’s contribution to GDP to increase, our administration must see agriculture as a business.
“The policy thrust of my government remains to improve the productivity of farmers in Oyo State by strengthening existing areas of comparative advantage for commercial agriculture and developing and championing new areas of competitive advantage.”
Credit: Nigerian Tribune