Governor Seyi Makinde has flagged-off construction activities at the 1,200-hectare Fasola Agro-Industrial Hub project in Fashola, Oyo West LGA to boost agriculture in the state. According to a statement from the Office of the Governor, the Fasola Industrial Hub was constructed by Brains and Hammers and it is the first of nine integrated agro-industrial parks that will be built across the state by the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) The flag-off of follows Governor Makinde’s commitment early in his administration to transform existing under-utilised and moribund farm settlements in Oyo State to nine agribusiness industrial parks with the aim of making the state’s agricultural sector globally competitive. In 2019, Oyo State House of Assembly approved Governor Makinde’s request to deploy the N7.6 billion loan sourced from the CBN in 2017 under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACs) to the provision of infrastructure required for agro-industrial activities on the moribund farm settlements.
“Agriculture is where we think we have comparative advantage and we are looking at agro-processing to expand our economy,” Makinde said. The project aims also to contribute to the structural transformation of the economy, job creation and poverty reduction by contributing to inclusive and sustainable agro-industrial development in the state.
Fasola is an ideal location since it is in the heart of farmland yet has easy access for distribution and the construction of the park is expected to create employment for over 1000 people in the immediate area. On completion, the Fasola Agro-Industrial Hub will include dedicated crop and livestock production facilities, research and innovation centres, processing facilities, agricultural equipment leasing facilities, cold-chain, storage, packaging, distribution and export facilities and a sprawling residential area. The agro-industrial park is expected to attract foreign and domestic investors engaged in agro-processing products for the domestic and international markets, accommodating a variety of fruit-bearing plants used to process cassava, oilseeds and grains, fruits and vegetables, food grains, meat, and poultry products and eggs, honey, and dairy products. Already, several private agribusiness enterprises dealing with horticulture, aquaculture, livestock production and agricultural machinery have signed up to utilise facilities in the hub.
“When an agribusiness industry is looking for new locations throughout Nigeria, this will be one of the places they are looking,” OYSADA DG, Dr Debo Akande said. “This will be the first time in Nigeria’s South West that infrastructure of this magnitude dedicated to agro-processing and related activities will be constructed and it demonstrates Oyo is right at the crest of the largest growth of the industrial and agribusiness sectors in Nigeria’s history.’’ By 2023, the state government expects to have completed a total of five industrial hubs across the state, creating sixty thousand jobs and boosting IGR (internally generated revenue) by N10 billion annually. It is estimated that 20-30 agribusinesses with a market value of 16 to 31 billion naira will have invested in the state within the next two years leading to the production of 50 value-added FMCGs and the substitution of 2-10 per cent of national food imports.