By Adams Akorede
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state has expressed the readiness of his administration to partner with and encourage investors in the agriculture sector in order to expand the economy of the state as well as surmount challenges facing their operations in the state.
The governor stated this during a visit to the Ajila Value Adding Ventures Limited in Awe, where Alaawe-in-council are collaborating with local and foreign investors led by a chartered accountant, Mr. Tayo Phillips to grow the state’s economy.
While speaking at the Ajila Value Adding Farms, Awe, where he was conducted round the poultry, hatchery, egg powder processing plant and palm trees plantation of the farms, Makinde described the facility as world-class.
The Governor, who was received by the Alaawe of Aawe, Oba Cornelius Taiwo; Chairman of Ajila Farms, Mr Philips; Managing Director of the farm, Mr Dotun Odekeye; president of Bond Group of Companies, Chief Debo Omotoso, and a foremost poultry farmer, Chief Lai Amoje, expressed his joy at the developments he witnessed at the Ajila Farms.
He maintained that it was the intention of his government to encourage Ajila Farms and other investors in the agriculture sector by addressing their challenges and, where necessary, providing incentives to help them expand their operations so that they could provide employment for the teeming youths of the state.
“Just as we have said in our manifesto, we want to drive our economy through agriculture and agriculture value chain. Most of the things I have seen and heard here are music to my ears: they want to process eggshells into egg powder and export it; they want to generate foreign exchange for the state and that is consistent with our idea of expanding the economy.
“We will encourage them. Some of them may have challenges; security challenges, some of them may have challenges with access to the market. We will look at their challenges and make sure that we solve them. And we may even give incentives to some of them to expand their operations and employ our youths,” Governor Makinde said.
Earlier, Phillips, chairman of the company, stated that the farm was focused on agriculture value chain and backward integration to provide direct and indirect employment for youths and other business concerns.
He maintained that the company was ready to partner with the Oyo State Government to boost agricultural development.
Phillips further explained that “our business is focused on agricultural value chain and backward integration, providing direct and indirect employment for youths, growing numerous other business concerns as the hub to ensure sustainable development and other indirect employment for our youths, vendors, suppliers, and contractors.”