Transforming Oyo State's Agriculture: AGRA 3.0 Strategy Unveiled by Dr. Rufus Idris

In a landmark meeting on December 7, 2023, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State welcomed a distinguished delegation led by Dr. Rufus Idris, Country Director of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). The delegation, comprising investors and development partners, aimed to discuss and implement AGRA’s innovative 3.0 strategy, focusing on transforming Nigeria’s food system, particularly in Oyo State.

Governor Makinde, expressing his enthusiasm for the collaboration, emphasized the significance of AGRA’s presence in Oyo State. He acknowledged the pivotal role AGRA plays in supporting smallholder farmers and fostering agribusiness development in the region. The governor highlighted the importance of such initiatives in enhancing food security, economic growth, and livelihoods for rural communities.

Dr. Rufus Idris, spearheading AGRA’s mission for food system transformation in Nigeria, presented the AGRA 3.0 strategy to Governor Makinde. This strategy is designed to address the specific needs of Oyo State’s agricultural sector, with a focus on empowering rural farmers and fostering sustainable agribusiness practices.

The AGRA 3.0 strategy comprises a comprehensive approach to agricultural development, incorporating technological advancements, investment promotion, and international collaboration. Dr. Idris outlined key elements of the strategy, including:

  1. Technology Integration: Leveraging cutting-edge technologies to enhance agricultural productivity, improve resource management, and facilitate precision farming techniques.
  2. Capacity Building: Implementing robust training programs for smallholder farmers to equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to adopt modern farming practices and improve overall efficiency.
  3. Market Access: Facilitating linkages between farmers and markets to ensure fair pricing, reduce post-harvest losses, and create sustainable income opportunities for rural communities.
  4. Inclusive Growth: Prioritizing the inclusion of women and youth in agriculture, ensuring their active participation and empowerment within the sector.

Governor Makinde expressed his optimism regarding the potential impact of the AGRA 3.0 strategy on Oyo State’s agricultural landscape. He reiterated his commitment to creating an enabling environment for the successful implementation of AGRA’s initiatives, emphasizing the need for collaboration between the government, private sector, and development partners.

In addition to AGRA, the delegation included Michael Schmidt, Deputy Head of the Office of Investment and Technology Promotion (ITPO) Germany, operating under the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). This partnership signifies international cooperation to drive sustainable development in Oyo State’s agriculture sector.

Oyo State has vast arable land of up to 28,545 km2, and is reputed to have over 1.2 million smallholder farmers. Rainfall pattern is stable and the State lies between two agroecologies: the rainforest and derived savanna. These agroecologies offer the State the opportunity to grow diverse crops but all these potentials in the agricultural sector have not been harnessed for the growth of its economy. The State’s vision is to raise its agricultural productivity by at least 50%, attract new private sector invest

As the meeting concluded, both Governor Makinde and Dr. Rufus Idris expressed their optimism for a fruitful collaboration that would not only transform Oyo State’s agriculture but also contribute significantly to Nigeria’s broader food system evolution. The AGRA 3.0 strategy, with its multifaceted approach, holds the promise of creating a more resilient, efficient, and inclusive agricultural ecosystem in Oyo State, setting a precedent for sustainable development across the African continent.

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