In its efforts to take advantage of the potential in the Nigerian agriculture sector, Oando and its JV partners as well as USAID have invested in improving agricultural practices in the country.
This was made known at the annual Framers Day celebration in Igbogene, Bayelsa State which was in commemoration of the 2017 GRP, JV Partners-Oando Plc, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and NAOC.
Speaking at the event recently, the Chief Executive Officer of Oando Energy Resources, Mr. Pade Durotoye, said: â€œWe have taken it upon ourselves to re-orientate members of our host communities particularly the unemployed youths to embrace agriculture as a viable future for the Niger Delta and Nigeria at large. The hard truth is that beyond the oil and gas sector, greater opportunities abound in other sectors of the economy and we must take advantage of this.â€
Oando acknowledges the untiring efforts shown by farmers in providing sustenance for the countryâ€™s ever-growing population, providing raw materials to the Nigerianâ€™s industries, and contributing substantially to the countryâ€™s foreign exchange earnings through its corporate social responsibility initiatives.
According to Durotoye, â€œToday, through our GRP programme, the joint venture partners-NAPIMS/NAOC/OANDO-have set the pace for our peers to follow. We have successfully sensitised our community-based farmers on the importance of agriculture through the introduction of high yielding planting materials, fisheries activities, and formation of Cooperative Societies to access our micro-credit scheme.â€
Durotoye stated that event is geared towards creating the much needed awareness on the importance of agriculture in spearheading the socio-economic development and economic diversification across the country, particularly in the Niger Delta.
He noted that the JV partners continued to enhance farming activities in these communities such fisheries activities, Home Economics training for women, and other vocational training for youths in areas such as Woodwork, Fashion Designing, Computer Training, Hair Dressing, Boat Engine Repairs, Electrical Installations (Domestic), Catering/Event Management, Welding/Pipe fitting among others as well as introduction of multifunctional kits, and formation of cooperative societies to access the micro-credit scheme.
â€œTo date, the Joint Venture has trained over 5,000 youths and women in various vocations, distributed millions of material, improved seedling to assist farmers in their agricultural production, in the quest to increase food security, provide livelihood for people, and steer the communities towards economic independence.
â€œAgriculture is the backbone of any country. The sector plays an undeniable strategic role in the economic growth of both developed and developing countries, and as a result of the increased awareness in the sectors growth potential, the JV partners have now develop interest to boost agricultural practices in the country in order to improve on the 38.4 percent it contributes to the Nigeriaâ€™s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which is the second highest contributor to the countryâ€™s GDP,â€ the Oando boss stated.