By Iyabo Adebisi

Director-General of the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) and Executive Adviser on Agribusiness to Governor ‘Seyi Makinde, Dr Debo Akande, has stated that a French firm, SEMMARIS-Rungis International Market, is set to support the establishment of an international wholesale agribusiness market in the state.

He stated this when a delegation of the firm, including its Head of International Projects, Timothée Witkowski and Consultant-Market Specialist, Steve Allen, paid a courtesy visit to the governor in Ibadan.

According to the OYSADA DG, the investors plan to complement the Makinde administration’s efforts in the agribusiness sector with the establishment of the market, which would be a major market for agribusiness and for farmers.

He added that the investors had, before the visit to the governor, gone round the state to see the infrastructure built by the governor in the last five years, the Fasola Agribusiness Industrial Hub and major markets in the state.

Akande said: “What they plan to do is to support us in establishing the International Wholesale Agribusiness Market in Oyo State, most likely in Ibadan.

“This is to complement a lot of work the governor has been doing in agribusiness in the state. This will be a major market for agribusiness and for farmers as well. They have gone round to see most of the facilities that have been built by the governor in the past five years. They have been to lseyin-Moniya road, Fasola Agribusiness Industrial Hub, Bodija Market, Akinyele Market and others to see what is currently on ground and what they can do to advance on that.

“What they have in France, which we are mirroring ourselves after, is a global market, the largest wholesale market globally and we have seen it. If you go there by 5 a.m, you won’t see anybody because most of the products in that place have been taken by trailers, moving to diverse places in Europe.

“So, we are anticipating that the growth of agribusiness and agriculture within our state would demand us to have that kind of a centralised system for the wholesale agricultural market. We are building and developing the foundation and when things grow as we are building agricultural industrial hubs in different locations including Fasola, Eruwa, Ijaye, this would be needed and would be required.”

The OYSADA DG added that the direct benefit of the wholesale market to the people of the state is that the state is becoming highly industrialised and also helping to develop a systematic approach to what farmers in the state would be producing.

“If a big company wants to come and buy two million tonnes of cassava or yam packed, where will they be getting them from? Currently, they source from different farms and villages, but they would not need to do that any longer because most of these things would be centralised in a place where the farmers can sell them.

“The farmers will have companies to sell to and these companies can now sell to big companies, which is the concept behind wholesale.

“If you have a large company that is interested in using cashew, use soya beans or process products as well, it knows the centralised place to come and pick in high volume. It is not now to go to different farms and villages to get 2 tonnes, 3 tonnes and what have you. And this means access to markets for our farmers. It means our farmers will now have access to sell their products at a good price.”

He maintained that apart from the infrastructure and facilities put in place by Governor Makinde, the state has improved security with the creation of the Oyo State Security Network Agency codenamed Amotekun, while it has also been increasing its resources on security and will continue to do so.

Earlier, SEMMARIS-Rungis’ Head of International Projects, Witkowski, said Oyo State had great potential and that its central location and the efforts of Governor Makinde had made it a strategic location for the development of wholesale infrastructure for food supply in Nigeria.

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