As part of measures to add value to all agricultural produce that serves as raw materials and production inputs for all manufacturing activities in Ogun state and beyond, a group of business owners and produce processors operating in the State have approached Federal Institute of Industrial Research on the fabrication of local machines for processing of farm produce.
The business owners, farmers, miners and produce processors under the aegis of Ogun State Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture consider possible partnership with FIIRO, having observed that due processing of produce offers effective preservation and adds needed value and improves on market value of agricultural produce.
Speaking at a Press Conference held in Abeokuta by OGUNCCIMA to herald the forthcoming 9th Gateway Trade Fair that holds between April 25th and May 7th, Adesola Adebutu, OGUNCCIMA President, declared that the Trade Fair which would be centred on agricultural production, processing and packaging is poised to create synergy between local and foreign markets with a view to adding value to harvested farm produce.
Adebutu noted, in a bid to add value and improve on market value of agricultural produce harvested, OGUNCCIMA would meet management of Federal Institute of Industrial Research soon for effectively fruitful discussion and agreement on the provision of locally fabricated machines for all the Trade Association’s members.
She said, “We’ve had series of meetings with development partners, we have had with Central Bank of Nigeria, Banks of Agriculture and Industry, and I can tell you that the meetings are yielding fruitful results already. Where we have challenge now, is in the area of processing and packaging of farm produce which will add both quality and market value to them.
“We are already in talks with the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO), Oshodi, next week, we are signing MoU with the FIIRO so that we can fabricate machines for our members that are in processing and packaging of produce at a cheaper price since the cost of all the processing and packaging exercises we do and machines we use are very much expensive.”
Also, Bimbo Ashiru, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry submitted that increased manufacturing activities in the State had increased demands for farm produce such as cassava, cereals, cocoa and cashew nuts, sesame seeds, among others, as the economic development now offers opportunities for not farmers, processors of produce, both also the labour that work in such oraginsations.
Ashiru, who was represented by Kayode Ogunti, Director of Commerce, said, “Number of industries that are using cassava and other production inputs that are derived from farm produce are increasing day-by-day, now we are getting cassava from other neighbouring states our feed our industries after we have exhausted our own.
“This is a big challenge to our farmers to form Co-operative societies in order for them to access more grants, loans and other support from development agency and seek intervention of government in some areas so that there will be massive production of more agricultural produce for industrial use.”