Posted by News Express | 31 December 2018 | 1,423 times
The Governor of Osun State, Alhaji Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola, has assured farmers in the state of more support to assist them expand and improve in their farming and agricultural business.
Oyetola gave the assurance during the second edition of an event dedicate to celebrate and lift the spirit of farmers in the state tagged “Odun Alagbinla” and held at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Research and Training Farm, Ago-Owu in the State.
The event was organised by the Office of Economic Development and Partnerships (OEDP) and the State’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MSFS) in collaboration with All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN).
While assuring the farmers of more support, Oyetola said the state government has been supporting farmers through various innovative interventions with a view to making Osun the main hub of agriculture in South West Nigeria.
The governor assured the farmers in the state of great deal of support in terms of motivation and encouragement to enhance agriculture value chain and ensure food security in the state.
Farmers from different parts of the state and stakeholders in the agribusiness converged at for the event. There were lectures on modern farming and there were exhibitions of farm produce.
While sensitising the farmers on ways to run their farms to avoid losses and make huge profits, an agricultural expert, Professor Peter Akpopodion highlighted the best practices in agribusiness and charged the farmers to embrace them.
The Manager of the Bank of Industry, Mr Isacc Faniyi Ojo, while speaking on providing financial support for the farmers commended those that have refunded the loans that they took initially saying this will enable another set of farmers to get loan.
The Chairman of the farmers association in the state, Alhaji Sulaimon Araokanmi, said the farmers in the state are convinced that the current administration in the state values agriculture and ready to assist the farmers.
The Director General of the Office of Economic Development and Partnerships (OEDP), Dr. Charles ‘Diji Akinola, who was represented at the event by the Coordinating Director in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr Olubukola Aluko, told the farmers that the administration of Governor Oyetola has good plans for them.
He said the state government wants to establish nine new farm settlements with one in each of the federal constituencies in the state and to also establish agro-industrial parks and produce markets.
“The state government will consolidate on the agricultural land expansion programme with additional target of 20,000 hectares for farm settlements to encourage and boost agriculture in the state.”
“The new farm settlement would focus on integrated agricultural development on crops (Maize, Cassava, Rice, Tomatoes, Vegetables, Yam, Plantain, Cocoa, and Oil Palm,), livestock, fisheries and Comprehensive Farm Service Centres where farmers will have access to Farm inputs, Extension services, Information and market intelligence services, produce storage and other support services.”
He said that the farm settlements in the urban centres would incorporate Green House and Vertical farming for growing vegetable, chillies, pepper and others.
Governor Oyetola who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr Benedict Gboyega Alabi said he was impressed with the enthusiasm with which the farmers in the state embraced the strategic partnership between the state government and the IITA.
His words: “Our administration is determined to build on the achievement of the past administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola through the implementation of programmes that would promote a better livelihood of our hardworking farmers and ensure food security in the state.
He said one of the laudable programmes was the implementation of Osun Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Programme (OREAP) through which some innovative initiatives have been implemented.
Oyetola said farmers in the state have had access to agricultural loan, roads, fertilizer, agriculture support services among others through the government farmer-friendly initiatives.
Oyetola said some of the initiatives include the implementation of the private sector-led Farm Input Supply programme, the establishment of the Osun Agricultural Land Holding Authority (the Land Bank), the revitalization of all the existing farm settlements in the state, massive construction of Farm-to-Market Roads in different parts of the state under the Rural Access Mobility Projects (RAMP), Osun Broilers Out-growers Production Scheme (O’BOPS), among others.
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