Governorship candidate of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) in Oyo State, Mr Olalekan Ayorinde has posited that the state would only experience all-round and sustained development if the state government gives increased priority to the agricultural sector.
Ayorinde hinged this call on the huge arable land and a high number of agricultural research institutes in the state which he said was not optimised.
He said it was long overdue government tasked agricultural research institutes in the State to carry out soil testing and mapping across the state to examine why the output of its farmers was not same as that of many other countries around the world, who devoted more attention to agriculture.
Also noting the virility of land in areas of the state like Oke-Ogun, Ibarapa and Ogbomoso, Ayorinde, he questioned whether the state government had created the enabling environment to engender the needed influx of manufacturing companies to those zones of the State.
“Oyo is the only state where all of our nation’s agricultural institutes exist. We have all the agricultural research institutes in Oyo state and if you plant on one hectare of corn, you only get two tonnes whereas around the world like in Brazil, you get 14 tonnes. We have IITA, CRIN, FRIN and others, so we need to look at what is happening to our soil.
“If you travel from Ibadan to Eruwa, Igangan, Ayete, you see the land with nothing on it. Why is that the case? Ogbomoso and Ibarapa is a hotbed for fruits but there is not a single manufacturing company, even in Oke-Ogun, where are the manufacturing companies?
“Is it that hard for the government to do all these? I understand that we don’t have these companies because we don’t have electricity but the government has not made it a point of duty to ensure that this area is prioritized. If we keep prioritizing other areas apart from Ibadan, how will other zones develop? Agriculture is the only way Oyo state can develop,” Ayorinde stated.
Aside from Agriculture, Ayorinde also promised a focus on education, health, job creation, social reforms and infrastructure, if elected as governor.