The Ondo State Wealth Creation Agency (WECA) was established in 2009 to address the issue of unemployment in Ondo State with particular focus on creating wealth through agriculture and entrepreneurship. Its key objective is to develop and implement programs that will engage our youths and train them in the business of agriculture.
In order to achieve this objective, the lead Government of Dr Mimiko established 4 agro business cities across the state, in Ore, Epe, Isuada and Auga. These Agro Business Cities were established solely for the purpose of training our youths in best agricultural practices not only in theory but in the practical sense of it. The Agro Business Cities are agricultural training and agro business incubation centres that allow the trainees (referred to as Pro-farmers and Agro-preneurs) to learn and practise the business of agriculture through the entire value chain of production, preservation, processing, packaging, marketing and other services including even exporting of agricultural products.
WECA also has some other units under its supervision in Akure which are the Sericulture Unit, Apiculture Unit and Sunshine Honey & Agro allied Industries.
Mrs Bolanle Olafunmiloye, the present chairman of the agency, established 4 main programs, in line in achieving the Government’s goals on diversification of the state’s economy and creation of employment. This programs are listed below;
- Pro-farmers & Agro-preneurs Sustainable Scheme (P.A.S.S.)
- Adiye/Eja WECA Promo
- Made in Ondo Brand Promo
- Wealth CreationFund
Under the “Profarmers & Agropreneurs Sustainable Scheme” (P.A.S.S.) which was launched on the 19th of May 2014, 280 young graduates were engaged and assigned to the 4 Agro Business Cities and other units under WECA for training and practical knowledge. The state government provides all the agricultural inputs and basic facilities such as accommodation, land, water, electricity and even training. In collaboration with the Federal Government under the SURE-P Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS), each graduate is provided a monthly stipend of N30,000. The graduates are also entitled to profit from the proceeds of sale of agricultural products they produce while in the agro business cities.
Over 250 pro farmers would be graduating this year to go out and sustain themselves and also become employers of labour.
Part of the Government round table strategy in bringing commercial activities to our state and our dream to make the southern wing of our state an ultimate industrial hub ,We have almost completed our 30 megawatts power plant in ore, the Ore Agro Business City was pencilled down as a model agro business city due to its strategic location. With the collaborations of our partners, IITA, FARA, UN Habitat, USAID Markets II, Agro Bayu, SURE-P, Federal College of Agriculture, Akure (FECA), Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Nigeria Cassava Growers Association etc. Several activities have been lined up to upgrade the facilities and expose our Pro-farmers and Agro-preneurs to best practices in agriculture and agro business in the State. So far 1,000 hectares of land has been cleared and prepared for cultivation out of which about 500 hectares of cassava & 200 hectares of maize has been cultivated. The oil palm seedlings were also transplanted to over 1,500 hectare of land.
Agricultural activities are not limited to the Ore Agro Business City (ABC).
Activities in other ABCs include Fish and Poultry Production at Epe (ABC) which breads 5000 broilers and 20,000 cat fish in each cycle. The Auga (ABC) also includes a cattle ranch and goatry, which sole purpose is for meat production and processing. The apiculture units in Akure, Ilare Mokin, Ore, rear bees to produce raw honey which is then distributed to off takers.
The Adiye/Eja WECA and Made in Ondo Brand Promos, agricultural products such as live fish, smoked fish, live and frozen chicken produced by the Pro-Farmers were marketed and sold across the State, to strategic partners such as; Shoprite Akure, FingerLicking Restaurant, Sunview Hotels. Also in the pipe line are Midas Owo, MrBiggs Akure, Royal Birds Akure.
The Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko congratulates the Chairman of WECA, Mrs Olafunmiloye for her seamless efforts, and has promised to continue supporting the Agency in terms of harnessing opportunities available within and outside the State and making such opportunities available to our people in other to improve lives.