What is the aim of the Oyo State Agriculture Investment Summit (OYSAIS)?
- To commence the process of interaction between the Oyo State Ministry of Agriculture and the Private Sector in a bid to achieve a common goal.
- To create an on-going sustainable dialogue amongst the Stakeholders
- To form alliances between the Stakeholders
- To agree/ negotiate Targets milestones and an identifiable Roadmap
- To agree on Targets and Goals
- To coordinate the efforts of all the Parties
- To form a sustainable Agriculture Transformation Body comprised of Private and Public Organizations - the Oyo State Integrated Agriculture Transformation Committee
- To Share information Data and Technology
Transforming Oyo State’s Agriculture and Agro-Allied Industry
Transformation connotes a change of attitude, strategy, outcome and output. It takes an entire village to raise a child. Agriculture is like a child. It will take many hands to transform the Agriculture industry of a State, particularly one as large as Oyo State. To express it in one sentence all aspects of the Agriculture value chain must be defined closely monitored and addressed in a sustainable manner. For the sake of clarity we will set out a snap shot the Agriculture Industry in Oyo State and across the country.
Transformation from What?
Small holder Subsistence Farming to Modern Industrial size Farming which runs as a business rather than a social activity aimed at allieviating rural poverty or creating youth employment. These latter outcomes must now be regarded as a byproduct rather than the main thrust of Agricultural activity in Oyo State.
What will change look like?
The measure of change is output and income. The picture of change is the Agro- Industrial Towns and Cities where the entire populace is producing crops which will be earmarked for Food, Processing and Export and is already sold before they are even harvested.
So what does the Agriculture value chain look like ?
The process of production commences even before any seed is planted. It begins with decision and planning. Decisions which are not ad hoc or rushed, but based on economic realities and an end goal. For the Farmer he considers the size of his land and the product he can plant on his land. If transformation is to occur there must be interaction between the Farmer and the end user i.e. the consumer or the Off-taker. At this juncture in time the economic reality is that the Farmer does not consult with anyone before he plants.
He plants according to his experience of last year’s harvest. He is a subsistence farmer living from hand to mouth. If that is going to change he must be indemnified for any losses as a result of changing his normal pattern of behavior.
If the Farmer is to produce more volume he will need better input – Seeds, Insecticide Pre-harvest care. He will also need to plant more crop. Planting more crop is a factor of land mass, ability to clear the land and all of the afore-mentioned. The Farmer’s ability to clear more land at the commencement of the Sowing season depends on having more Farm hands and Mechanized Equipment – Tractors to clear and plough when it is required. More often than not the Farmer has no access to such equipment and even when he does, it isn’t timely. The State and it’s partners must evolve a system of Mapping and Registration which has all the Farmers and which provides Mechanized Equipment at set times in the season.
The Farmer’s land is deep in the forest . Far from the Consumer . He needs modern transportation to get his produce to market within days of harvest. Transportation is clearly a weakness in the value chain. Over the past 30 years it has remained a weakness. Oyo State’s Agric Transformation Committee must organize an aggregated system to tackle this issue . There are three possibilities – Move the market to the Farmer, Bring Storage Facilities to the Farmer and Provide round the clock Transportation service of Agricultural produce in the State.
The Targets for Oyo State are three-fold and intertwined – The System must be utilized as it is . The State and its partners must first and foremost come along side the Farmers to empower and enable them in their endeavor before any attempt is made to introduce any changes. First all the Farmers must have access to the same Information at the Same time. Radio is most effective. There must be information being fed to the Farming community in their own language. This is the advantage of the homogeneity of language –Yoruba which is the language spoken across the State.
All of the Farmers must have access to Loans before planting season begins. They must all have access to Tractors at the right time Ditto Fertilizers and Insecticides etc. Only when these issues are grappled will the change emerge.
It is clear that the organization to handle these processes cannot be a single one. They must be multiple orgabnisations specialized in their own fields. However the operations must be coordinated, measurable, integrated and interactive.
If Agro- Allied industry is to take root – Crop production must be multiplied several times over and done so in a sustainable manner. But it will also require the off-takers to be involved with the process even before the Seeds are planted. There must be an atmosphere of Trust, communication and cooperation. The land-holding structure / Systems must be revolutionalized and enhanced by Template Model land sharing and Partnership Agreements between modern corporations, the State and the local communities where the Agricultural land is located.