The new agriculture initiative of the Oyo State government has received a boost with the proposed investment by an Australian agro-processing company, which has already acquired 50 hectares of land in the Oke Ogun area of the state.
The new entrant had thus swelled the list of Australian companies that had entered into partnership agreements with the state government in mining, agriculture, education and vocational training.
The state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, disclosed this while receiving the Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Leymann, in his office, on Wednesday.
To fast-track the implementation agreement and memorandum of understanding, the governor said that his administration had put in place necessary machinery and the enabling environment for the businesses to thrive.
Ajimobi said, “We have signed an agreement with an Australian company on mining, agriculture, education and vocational training. We have also allocated 50 hectares of land to one of the companies in Australia for agro-processing.
“With your visit today, the relationship between Oyo State government and Australia will be further fortified. Oyo is the most advantageously-positioned state and it is best suited for agriculture being a savannah region.
“Oyo is potentially a state of logistics, with a savannah temperate region and with the highest concentration of research institutes for sustainable agricultural development.
In his remarks, the high commissioner applauded the efforts of the governor to turn around the fortunes of the state through aggressive wooing of foreign and local investors and diversification into agriculture and other untapped gold mine.
Lehmann acknowledged that the governor’s visit to Australia had brought about fruitful agreement between his country and the state for mutually beneficial returns.
He described Ibadan, the state capital, as an internationally-recognised city of culture, mining and industry.
The envoy said, “The visit of your team to Australia is quite appreciated and we are delighted to assure you that the relationship would enhance development in agriculture, mining and industry in Oyo State.”