Seyi Makinde, the Governor of Oyo, has stated that his administration is ready to collaborate with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to guarantee food security in the State.
On Tuesday, Governor Makinde expressed his thoughts while welcoming Dr. Simeon Ehui, the Director-General of the IITA and CGIAR Regional Director for Continental Africa, and his team to the Courtesy Room of the Governor’s office.
The governor acknowledged and thanked the Institute for their collaborative efforts with the state since he assumed office in 2019.
He emphasized his intention to collaborate with the Institute to tackle the issues of food insecurity, as he believed that by doing so, the state would be able to significantly reduce poverty by fifty percent.
He said that his government is firmly committed to addressing the issue of food insecurity.
He acknowledged the current challenges facing the country, such as economic difficulties due to the removal of exchange rate restrictions and the withdrawal of petroleum subsidies, which have resulted in significant hardships for the population.
Furthermore, he highlighted the importance of prioritizing the needs of people, who often equate the alleviation of hunger with the eradication of poverty. Therefore, tackling food security is a critical concern that cannot be taken lightly.
According to him, leaders in the country must exert three times the effort to ensure that their actions are acknowledged and make a tangible difference in the lives of the people.
“With the IITA, if we focus on taking care of hunger through food security in our state, then we would have been able to solve half of the challenges ahead of us.
“So, I want to pledge that, even though it is a new DG, as a state we will continue to work together to tackle food security within our state and within the country and the continent. So, we will continue to partner with you,” the governor said.
Governor Makinde, who welcomed Ehui and his team, said he was looking forward to further profitable partnerships with the Institute, even as he added that the government would continue with the Start Them Early Programme (STEP), which trains secondary school students in Oyo on agribusiness practices.