The African Development Bank says it has mobilised $520m for a programme to boost farmers’ productivity in eight states, including Oyo, and ensure massive development in Nigeria.
The President, AfDB, Mr Akinwumi Adesina, said this on Tuesday at the Oyo Agricbuisness Summit 2021 held at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan.
Adesina, who was represented by the Director of Agriculture at AfDB, Martins Fregene, said, “The best fertiliser for any crop is the market. If you want farmers to invest in inputs, and you want farmers to increase their productivity, you need to make sure they have market to sell when they harvest their crops.
“He added, “I am pleased to announce that in Nigeria, the AfDB has mobilised $520m for the first phase of SAPC programme (Smallholder Agricultural Productivity Enhancement and Commercialization Project).
“Oyo State is one of the eight states participating in this first phase. The Ijaye Agro Procession Industrial Hub in Oyo State will cluster farmers and service providers for industrial-scale processing of cassava, rice and soybeans.”
The Director-General of IITA, Dr Nteranya Sanginga, said Nigeria could create millions of jobs for the youth, ensure food security and economic development through investment in agriculture.
He said the $11bn spent yearly by Nigeria to import food was developing the economy of Thailand and other countries.
“We import rice from Thailand, and what it means is that we are creating jobs in Thailand,” Sanginga said.
According to the Director-General of Oyo State Agribusuiness Development Agency, Dr Debo Akande, Oyo State has 2.2 million hectares of arable land and is working to capture the Lagos market with a population of 21 million people.