The projection of the Ondo State Government at making agriculture a sustainable means of revenue earnings and job creation for the Sunshine State has received a geometric boost from the private sector.
This development follows the presentations made to the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu ,SAN, by two investors into the state’s Agric Sector.
The first presentation made by the Representative of Mahindra Tractor Assembly Plant, Owo, Mr Manoj Ramakrishnan centred on the establishment of appropriate agricultural inspired technology plant that will boost agricultural productions through the use of modern and accessible technological back up for all stages of agriculture in the state.
The second presentation on establishing a Fertilizer and Chemicals Manufacturing complex in the state was presented by Mr Yomi Ige.
The two presentations were delivered amid assurances that Ondo State was on the verge of leveraging on her agrarian potentials towards mitigating the effects of monolithic dependence on crude oil revenues and lack of jobs for able-bodied citizens of the state.
Responding the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu expressed optimism that the number one cardinal programme of his administration, which is “Job Creation for the Youths and Women, through sustainable Agriculture and Entrepreneurship” is being fulfilled.
Arakunrin Akeredolu declared that the establishment of a tractor plant in Ondo State would end tilling and hoeing the land through the use of energy sapping implements that have dissuaded youths from agriculture for years.
The governor added that a fertilizer manufacturing plant in the state through the creativity of waste to wealth initiative will serve as incentive to scale up productivity.
Speaking to Government House Reporters, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture, Mr Akin Olotu, described the partnership as another milestone recorded by the Oluwarotimi Akeredolu administration.
“Talking about mechanization, fertilizer plant and industrialisation, you will agree with me, that Nigeria shares a lot with Indian. We are not just talking about tractor acquisition, having an Assembly Plant here would be an employment generation, sustainability in tractor utilization.
“In times past, one association would just go and buy tractors which they were not sure of having the back-up spare parts or sure of having training for the operators and for the mechanics. And in few years, the tractors will be down and the investment on them will be gone for ever”, he said.
He added that having a Tractor Assembly Plant established in the state will guarantee increased Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, employment opportunities, prolonged lifespan for tractors, more training for mechanics, tractor operators and ultimately improve farming production.
In the same vein, the Chief Executive Officer ,CEO of Agrolincs Consultant Limited, Mr Yomi Ige, said the proposed Fertilizer and Chemicals Manufacturing company in the state will create no fewer than 23,000 jobs and increase the state revenue to a reasonable level.
On his own, Mr Manoj Ramakrishnan assured of the readiness of Mahindra which is the largest tractor manufacturing company in Asia to establish its plant in Ondo State.
“We are coming over here. All the years we have built the trust of the community in Nigeria. We have a responsibility towards the society and we have sealed a partnership with Ondo State Government to begin a tractor assembly plant from Mahindra in the state. We are targeting Jan 2018 to commission the plant”he said.
Top government officials who attended the presentations include, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Olugbenga Ale; Permanent Secretaries, Ministry of Agric and Ministry of Works, Engineer Alex Aragbaye and Engineer A. Adeniyi respectively; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture, Pastor Akin Olotu; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Investment and Development, Mr Boye Oyewumi; Director of Engineering Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr R. Akinbamowo and the Director of Engineering Services, Ministry of Works, Engineer Monday Afeniforo.