Kwara State Comprehensive Agricultural Master Plan will be ready soon to guide the AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq administration’s policy direction on agriculture as the world prepares for post-COVID-19 economy, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Adenike Afolabi-Oshatimehin has said.
Afolabi-Oshatimehin, who spoke on the sideline of the just concluded 2020 budget review session in the state, said the master plan would capture various engagements the state has had with stakeholders in the sector and experiences from other climes, according to a statement from her office on Thursday.
“The plan is to utilise the heavily untapped agricultural potentials in Kwara as a major instrument to stimulate economic growth, create massive decent jobs among youth and women, accelerate rural development and ensure food security in the state between 2020 and 2025,” the statement quoted her as saying.
She said the master plan will revolutionise the sector, create thousands of jobs for the people, and develop the grassroots.
“Though delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kwara State Agricultural Masterplan would be available soon. It is going to be a robust data-based plan that gives clear developmental roadmap for various aspects of agriculture in Kwara. The focus includes but is not limited to:
“Improved/mechanised crop farming across the State through well-galvanised out-grower schemes leveraging on cooperation with existing and new farmers (smallholder and commercial farmers), energetic youth populace and rural women across the states;
“Appreciable investments in livestock and fishery which are already a critical part of the National Livestock Transformation Plan which Kwara is tapping into;
“Agro-processing zones, revamp of moribund agro-processing factories and opening up of new agro-processing companies by harnessing of various national, regional, and global funds initiatives and partnership with the private sector;
“Access to market for locally produced agro-commodities through (a) local content policies to ensure Kwarans patronise agro-commodities produced in Kwara; and (b) inter-state market partnership and export to global communities through bilateral trade partnerships with multinational food processing companies, global trade broking companies and governments.
“Access to Finance for farmers and agro-processors in the State; and partnership with local and global financiers/financial institutions to ensure aggressive funding for agriculture in Kwara.”
The Commissioner said the crafting of the Kwara State Agricultural Masterplan is being fast-tracked, describing it as a game-changer to achieve food security, improve living standard, enhance rural development, and other economic benefits for Kwara State.