The Director General of DAWN Commission, Mr. Seye Oyeleye and the Group Managing Director of Odu’a Investment Company Limited (OICL), Mr. Adewale Raji on Tuesday 4th February, paid a working visit to Agro Park Development Company Limited, located in the heart of Abeokuta, Ogun State. The visit was aimed at having a first-hand view of a functional agro-processing hub in order to explore possible areas of partnership.
Agro Park Development Company Limited is primarily a farm management company and agricultural industrial park sitting on about 1,000 hectares of land and housing about 250 youths along with over 44,000 hectares support farms and outgrower schemes at diferent locations in Nigeria.
According to the Managing Director, Agro Park Development Company Limited, Mr. Sola Olunowo, the vision of Agro Park is to transfer the knowledge and experience from real estate into agricultural industrial hub where structures are fully in place for all forms of food processing – this vision resonates strongly with Africa Development Bank’s agenda of creating Specialised Agro-Processing Zones (SAPZs) in Nigeria.
Agro Park specializes in organic production and processing of spices (turmeric, basil, lemon grass, and pepper), poultry, fishery as well as organic essential oils which is able to satisfy the demands of the local market and potentials for the export market.
As an advocate for youth ‘agripreneurs’, Agro Park houses about 250 youths as Farm Support Staff ranging from students on Industrial Attachment and graduate trainees. The hub serves as a platform to re-orientate young farmers, train youths in agriculture and has built a strong structure for the sustainability of the system.
The global spices and seasonings market size was USD 15.93 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 22.87 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.7% in the forecast period (2019-2026); hence expansion of activities of agro-industries like Agro-Park in Southwest guarantees a rise in income for Southwest with huge job creation potentials.
The DG of DAWN Commission, Mr. Seye Oyeleye expressed his delight in the fact that majority of workers in the hub are youths; showing a hope for average Nigerian youth interested in agriculture and agribusiness.
The GMD of ODUA Investment Company, Mr Adewale Raji commended the officials of the park in the courage and tenacity in agricultural value addition. Riding on AgroPark’s openness to Collaboration, Association and Partnership (CAP), the GMD promised to explore areas of possible partnership with AgroPark.