Oyo government to partner with Thailand on agriculture

Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan

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The Oyo State government has declared readiness to partner with Thailand in the area of agriculture for higher and sustainable crop production in the State. Governor Makinde, represented by the Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan, made this known while welcoming a Thai delegation.

The Thai delegation for agricultural development which has been working on promoting the Sufficiency Economical Project (SEP) is in Oyo State to continue with the implementation of the New Alternative Development Project, which was started in 2018.

Governor Makinde, who spoke through his deputy, declared his pleasure for having the Thai delegation in the State, adding that the mainstay of Oyo State is agriculture, therefore policies that can improve productivity are welcomed.

The Governor revealed he knows of Thailand being a country well-acquainted with agriculture, saying the it has been trying to replace drug-related plants with agric-useful and productive crops.

He gave the assurance that the government would welcome any policy Thailand intends to put across and will uphold the agreement made with the former administration.

The Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Mr. Victor Atilola explained that the purpose of the visit by the Thai delegation is to intimate the new administration with its developmental programmes in the State.

Atilola said “They came talking about the possibility of stepping down all the illegal crops that are being grown around because of their experience there. And here in Oyo State, it has been a running battle with hemp smokers, especially in our forest reserve.”

He added that the New Alternative Development Project is still being implemented because of the success recorded since it started.

He also stressed that the Thai government has sponsored some Oyo State officials to Thailand towards ensuring the progress and success of the project.

The leader of the Thai delegation, Ms. Uraiwan Courtaud said, “The Thai Embassy in Abuja invited two Thai experts to conduct preliminary field study in order to make a feasible study. Thereafter, the Thai Embassy and the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development can further discuss on the project to develop asustainable community modem.”

In attendance at the event were the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Bisi Ilaka, the Executive Adviser to the Governor on Agribusiness, Mr. Debo Akande and many others.