Published on Food Crisis and the Global Land Grab, by Osun Defender, 13 July 2011.
… According to the governor, his administration will encourage foreign co-operation in the agricultural sector by way of capital investment and technical partnership with the aim of making the state a marketing hub for food commodities.
He said the state also prioritized foreign partnership in tourism and cultural development by investing in the state tourism sites and develop the existing facilities in the sites.
Other areas of interest to Aregbesola included capacity building for mass employment of youths in vocational activities and social orientation, including mentoring in small-scale businesses.
Speaking further, Ogbeni Aregbesola emphasised that building up of skills and capacities in organising and managing co-operatives, such that co-operative movements will become a major driver of the economy, construction of rural access roads to open up the farming communities in the rural areas will also be an area of interest of his administration.
The governor informed the investors on the efforts of his administration on the aggressive renewal of urban centres, which will involve construction of roads, and general up-grading of the environment.
Aregbesola told the gathering that already, his administration has taken necessary steps towards encouraging farmers to be more interested in farming, adding that there is fertile land and favourable climatic condition for the investors in the state.
He said, “as part of our efforts to expand agricultural base, the government has recently acquired 30,000 hectares of land across the state to allocate to new willing farmers. This is in addition to an already existing 18,000 hectares of land in nine farm settlements.”
The governor expressed optimism that with these areas addressed, Osun State would become a showpiece of modern development in Africa. (full text).