The state of Osun added a milestone as FarmKonnect, a foremost social agribusiness enterprise and the first Agricultural Real Estate company in Nigeria commissioned the WaVe city, a mega vegetable farming project on over 5 Million square meters farmland domiciled in the state.
The WaVe city, situated in Wasimi, Aiyedere Local Government Area of Osun state in Southwest Nigeria, is targeted to contribute to national food security and nutrition through the production of fruit and leafy vegetables, leveraging modern technology for a controlled farming environment.
The Inauguration event which took place on the farm on the 4th of August 2020 and was attended by the Commissioner for Agriculture and food security together with the Commissioner for Youth and sports, Osun state, and many other dignitaries across different sectors of the economy was an exposé of the yet untapped potentials of the Africa’s agricultural system. With over 60 percent of the world’s arable land, the Sub-saharan Africa is still the most malnourished continent of the world!
While delivering the Inauguration speech, Mr Azeez Oluwole, the founder and Chief Marketing officer of FarmKonnect remarked that the WaVe city is oriented to revolutionize Africa’s food and agribusiness sector, dousing the problems of hunger and food insecurity through the production of fruit and leafy vegetables. According to Oluwole whose experience in the farming business has spanned over 20 years, “the WaVe city will at full capacity produce over 120,000 metric tonnes of tomatoes per annum, capturing about 41 percent of the tomatoes market in Nigeria, and will provide more than 1,200 direct as well as over 3,500 indirect job opportunities for the youths.”
The WaVe city is a mega multidimensional agricultural project run on a unique agribusiness model tagged, Agricultural Real Estate (AgRE) which is designed specifically to promote the agricultural and financial inclusion of all and sundry. According to the CMO of FarmKonnect, “AgRE which is a pioneering model of FarmKonnect is a collective system of farming whereby individuals with like minds pool resources together to sponsor huge agricultural projects for higher productivity and profiting that otherwise may not be achieved by a single individual.
AgRE has 8 key elements which include; commercial scale, scalability, high yield, security, collective funding, efficiency, unified management and system driven. In the words of Azeez Oluwole, AgRE will promote the state of commercial Agriculture in Africa while protecting and reinforcing the strength of the smallholder farmers.
Mr Oluwole further disclosed that the WaVe city will feature 50 different farm settlements of 100,000 Square meters of land areas each. Each settlement, graced with modern technology and operational methodologies that agree with the tenets of precision farming, will have its own administrative system and recreational facilities. According to the agripreneur, two of the settlements are not for profit making but to promote the Corporate Social Responsibilities of the company. The first is the legion farm which is dedicated to both active and retired military and paramilitary officers including their direct dependents in compensation for their services to the nation. The second is the women enclave targeted to empower and provide social and financial supports to women farmers across the nation.
Mr Oluwole lamented that the contribution of women to agricultural productivity is highly underrated. Women contribute about 75 percent of the agricultural productivity in developing countries but receive less than 7 percent of agricultural extension services. He admonished that to fully tap Africa’s agricultural potentials women farmers who are mostly resident in the rural regions of the continent must be adequately empowered.
Having lauded the women enclave initiative, Dr. Aborisade Ogunlana, an entrepreneur and women empowerment advocate described the food revolutionary project as a ‘positive rebellion’ to Africa’s food and agricultural challenges.
The Osun states Commissioner for Agriculture and food security, Honourable Adewole Adedayo appreciated FarmKonnect for providing palliatives to 1000 people in Osun state during the COVID-19 lockdown. He noted that agriculture is a priority in the agenda of the government of Osun state not only because of its capacity for food production but also because of its capacity for job creation. According to the commissioner, Agriculture has the highest potential to create jobs, for both skilled and unskilled labour.
“The Northern Nigeria has always been the base for food production in Nigeria, and there has been that message passed down to the southern Nigeria to scale up and start producing what to eat. The period where we order toothpicks and pizza from London is over” the commissioner said.
Honourable Adeyemi also expressed belief that FarmKonnect is a dream come true and is positioned to record monumental achievement in Nigeria and Africa at large. In the words of the honorable commissioner, “today having FarmKonnect in Osun state is another dream realized, having the agricultural facility on ground to develop agriculture in southwest Nigeria is another dream that is being realized. FarmKonnect will be creating jobs for over 1000 people. We are going to be opening a whole new sector.”
The honourable thanked FarmKonnect for bringing the project to Osun state and he said the government of the state of Osun will continue to be of tremendous support. He also implored FarmKonnect to work very closely with the Osun states ministry of Youth and Sports especially on matters that concerns the youths.
Honourable Yemi Lawal, the commissioner for Youth and Sports for Osun state who also spoke at the event, described the project as commendable and a welcome development in Osun state. He articulated his willingness and readiness to partner with FarmKonnect to create something monumental for the Youths of Osun state.
About the writer:
Tiamiyu Ismail is a writer and Researcher at FarmKonnect.
Contact: ismail[email protected]