Kolawole Lawal, Commissioner for Forestry in Ogun state has declared that Ogun state, being a Gateway state that connects Nigeria with other West African countries, has natural endowments and fertile arable land that can conveniently feed all Nigerians states and West African countries if the state’s agricultural potentials were fully harnessed.
The Commissioner of Forestry, who doubles as the President of Yewa Yewa Chamber of Commerce, Mines, Agriculture and Industries, said the very large expanse of arable land domiciled in the State are very much enough to grow staple foods and cash crops such as cassava, rice, yam, vegetable, cocoa, cashew, among others.
Speaking at a symposium organised by Development Market Place Forum (Nigeria) and held at the Nigerian Union of Journalists’ Union (NUJ) Secretariat, Oke Ilewo, Abeokuta on Wednesday, Lawal noted that the “Gateway State” is blessed with millions hectares of fertile land where crops can germinate easily and the bumper harvest can be recorded, saying Governor Ibikunle Amosun is exploiting agriculture potentials to lead industrialisation in the State.
While describing Ogun as “industrial hub of Africa” as the State accounts for 75 percent of foreign direct investments which came to Nigeria in a year, Lawal
urged people to embrace agriculture, and appealed to government at all levels to improve on funding spent on agriculture in order to really have positive impacts on agricultural practice and agribusiness.
He however, urged Nigerians, especially youths and women, to use several schemes and funds available for agricultural practice and agribusiness to boost investment in agriculture as part of efforts to rebound the economy, saying: “As President of Yewa Chamber of Commerce, I know that agriculture would thrive in this State. I want to tell us today that we should all prepare for farming if we must improve on agricultural development.
“If all the Local Government Areas engage in farming and food packaging, we can drive agro needs of Africa. Can’t Ogun State can feed Lagos? Not only Lagos. Can we supply food for the whole of West Africa, even Africa? This is because of the nature of our fertile land. We have agrarian land. If you drop something anywhere, it will grow.
After all, Malaysia took palm tree from Nigeria and today, Malaysia is the largest supplier of Palm Oil.
What are we doing? That is why we need to embrace Agriculture.”
Earlier, The Chairman of the Forum, Kayode Badmus explained that the body – Development Market Place Forum, comprises various professionals who devise systemic ways of solving problems in the society, adding: “The aim of the body is to achieve home zone governance and how we can achieve goals that will get to the grassroots and also make grassroots relevant in all perspectives.”
RAZAQ AYINLA, Abeokuta