By: Bamidele Fashube
About 1,000 farmers in Osun State on Tuesday, received 100,000 cocoa seedlings distributed to them by the Government.
This was even as the state’s Government inaugurated the Osun Broilers Outgrowers Production Scheme III (OBOPS) aimed at enhancing the capacity of livestock production.
Speaking at the event, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola explained that farmers in each of the Local Government Areas across the State got 1,500 cocoa seedlings as priority was given to the Cocoa Producing Local Government Areas of the State.
According to him, Government’s efforts were geared towards actualising its set objectives to reposition agriculture and make Osun the food basket of the nation in general and Southwest in particular.
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He said distribution of cocoa seedlings and other agricultural inputs is part of the Administration’s determined quest at revamping the State’s economy through the Cocoa Revitalisation Programme.
Oyetola who reiterated the government’s commitment to turning Osun into the food hub of the South-West said policies had been tailored towards ensuring adequate availability of fertile land, good roads, relatively good rainfall pattern and above all to ensure peaceful coexistence between the herdsmen and the farmers.
He added that the initiative was designed to support farmers and cushion the effects of the erratic weather that occurred in 2020, which resulted in prolonged drought and flooding in different parts of the State.
“I would like to remind this gathering of my inaugural speech where I promised that our Administration would consolidate on the Agricultural Land Expansion Programme for the establishment of additional farm settlements.
“It is my pleasure to inform you that we have approved the establishment of 10,000 hectares of farmland to be used as a farm settlement at F3 in Ife-South Local Government in which 400 hectares of the farmland have been cleared to empower one thousand (1,000) youths in the cultivation of arable crops. Also, 23 hectares of farmland have been cleared at Ifon, in Orolu Local Government as a Demonstration Site for youths and women empowerment and agro-processing centres.
“To fulfil our electioneering promises in the Agriculture sector, Government has embarked on a number of projects aimed at enhancing the economic base of the State and that of the farmers, especially the Tree Crop Unit of the Ministry which is distributing Cocoa seedlings freely.
“Also, the State Government established a Adewole stated further that the Governor would also be visiting warehouses being affected by the flood as part of efforts to explore available means to support the affected farmers, an initiative he said would be achieved in collaboration with the Federal Government Agencies and private partners.”
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He urged farmers in the State to support the Government in its efforts to revitalise the agriculture sector, particularly livestock production in the State.
In his remarks, the Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Osun State Chapter, Alhaji Sulaiman Araokanmi, commended the prompt intervention of the government to revamp agriculture in the State.