Oyebanji Seeks Partnership With Investors In State’s Agricultural Sector


The Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, has called on stakeholders within and outside Nigeria to partner with the State in the area of agriculture.

The Governor made the appeal during the annual Nigeria Now Conference organized by the United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC) in Lagos

Governor Oyebanji who was represented by the Secretary to Ekiti State Government , Dr Habibat Adubiaro provided an overview of food and nutrition security in the State stressing that the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war have exacerbated food insecurity, exposing the vulnerability of over 1 billion people in Africa who struggle to afford a healthy diet.

He cited Africa as a prime example of a region where conflict, extreme weather events, poverty, and instability drive hunger, leading to food shortages and limited access to nutritious food.

Speaking extensively on food and nutrition security in Nigeria, Governor Oyebanji noted that Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and a major oil producer, relies heavily on oil and gas exports, which account for about 11 percent of the national GDP, 95 percent of total export earnings, and about 85 percent of the country’s total revenue.

He stressed that despite being blessed with vast land resources, food insecurity remains a significant challenge, particularly with cereal production.

The Governor noted that while food security is essential for development, global experience confirms that a sufficient food supply alone is not enough.

Governor Oyebanji noted that Ekiti has its own Agricultural Development Agenda which is aimed at using agriculture to drive industrialization and achieve economic prosperity

He said with a population of about 4 million and a GDP of $2.848 billion, Ekiti is characterized by geographical features of hills and small mountains and rich wildlife per square kilometer.

Highlighting the achievements of his administration, Oyebanji disclosed that his administration conducted a diagnostic session with all relevant stakeholders in the state’s agricultural ecosystem.

He said during session teams visited farmsteads and interviewed more than 70 agricultural cooperatives to understand their challenges noting that actions taken to address these issues include opening up about 30 farm clusters for agricultural cooperatives and implementing a five-point agenda to improve agricultural productivity.

The Governor said his administration unveiled an ambitious five-point agenda aimed at transforming the agricultural sector in Ekiti State.

He said the comprehensive plan targets the entire value chain, from upstream to downstream operations, to tackle the pressing issues facing the industry. The agenda according to him focuses on: Agricultural Productivity Improvement ;
Capacity Building and Good Agricultural Practices ; Agricultural Market Development ; Value Addition through Mid-Stream and Downstream Development and Ekiti Youth in Agriculture.

Governor Oyebanji emphasized that this agenda is designed to address all aspects of the agricultural value chain, ensuring a robust and resilient agricultural economy for Ekiti State.

He stated that his administration intends to further develop the agricultural sector by attracting more investment in agribusiness to enhance the processing capacity of both staple and cash crops.

Noting that this initiative will not only provide food security but also help Nigeria grow its non-oil exports the Governor restated his administration’s commitment to supporting farmers with adequate financing, value chain support, market access, skills, and technology to increase productivity within the sector.

While noting that government of Ekiti State is open to collaboration and partnership.
Governor Oyebanji, he used the opportunity to extend an invitation to USSEC and other private sector practitioners to invest in Ekiti.

“Ekiti’s soil is well-suited for soybean cultivation, especially in the northern axis where we have the SAPZ. We also have two state universities and a polytechnic that can be upgraded to become centers of excellence for soybean production in Nigeria,” he assured.

Among the dignitaries at the conference were the Ekiti Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Ebenezer Boluwade; Mr. Sunday Ezebiora, National President of the Poultry Association of Nigeria; Dr. Debo Akande, Director of the Business Incubation Platform IITA; and a host of others.

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