Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State said on Thursday that arrangement has been concluded to establish Shea Butter centres across the state.
Ajimobi, who was represented by Mrs Folakemi Akinleye, the Special Adviser on Bureau of investment and Public Partnership, said this at a town hall sensitisation meeting on shea butter production in Saki.
He said that the establishment of the centres had become necessary as it would provide employment opportunity for the citizenry.
Ajimobi said that it was imperative to turn available natural resources into wealth by improving on the production, processing and packaging of agricultural produce for reliable marketing platform.
The governor said that this would enable the state to compete favourably at both locally and international Markets.
The governor implored the tree fellers to desist from cutting down Karite Shea butter trees and palm kernel trees, adding that people should support government preservation programme.
Mr Oyewole Oyewumi, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, said that the programme was meant to expose Shea butter producers to modern ways of producing the products and its benefits.
Oyewunmi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Victor Atilola, urged the Shea Butter producers and other stakeholders to utilise the available opportunity.
He urged them to identify genuine land that can be allocated to individuals or groups that are willing to invest in the state.
Oyewunmi explained that the pre-disbursement training for cassava and rice farmers was to build and improve capacities for increased crops production and overall implementation of FADAMA III Additional Financing Project.
According to him, statistics and evidence show that Oyo state is a leading producer of cassava.
“Therefore, we are selected for production of cassava and rice under the FADAMA III additional financing programme.
“This is also due to the comparative production advantage and capacity of the state in the production of these two major staple crops.’’
He said that the recently launched Agricultural Initiative by the state government was to promote agricultural production and encourage youths’ involvement in agriculture through land allocation to interested individuals with inputs support.
In his remark, Mr Nathaniel Olayinka, the State Coordinator, FADAMA III Additional Financing Project, said that farmers in 14 Local Government Areas of the state have fulfilled all the necessary requirements to benefit from the programme.
Olayinka stressed that the objectives of the workshop was to communicate the roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholders involved in the implementation of the project and to build the capacities of the beneficiaries to increase their productivity.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Oyo State government had trained cassava and rice farmers in the state, who were beneficiaries of the FADAMA III project.
Oyewunmi said that the state was set to fully participate in the new Federal Government’s agricultural promotion policy 2016-2020 tagged, The Green Alternative.
He said that the state would take advantage of the policy to have additional agricultural extension workers to disseminate improved agricultural technologies to the farmers.