Federal Government has disclosed its plan to embark on all-year-round farming in Osun State as part of efforts to ensure food security and avert scarcity in the dry season.
Executive Secretary/CEO of National Agricultural Land Development Authority, Prince Paul Ikonne, made this known during an on-the-spot assessment of irrigation sites and other farm settlements in Osun State at the weekend.
He commended the administration of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun for the huge investment made to revive the agriculture sector in the state.
Ikonne, who acknowledged the state government for keying into many of its policies aimed at revamping, resuscitating and rejuvenating the agriculture sector for greater and maximum productivity, said the team came to Osun on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to aggregate suitable lands for all-year-round farming and work out modalities to retrieve all the already- acquired lands under the agency.
He said Osun was chosen as one of the pilot states, having attested to the government’s commitment to revamping the sector.
NADAL Executive Secretary, who extolled the commitment of Governor Oyetola towards the actualisation of the national economic diversification, expressed satisfaction at the available suitable lands provided by the state government to drive and actualise the initiative.
He disclosed that the all-year-round farming process would commence in Osun by the first week of January, 2021 as necessary facilities had been provided by the President to actualise the dream.
He said, “We are here on the spot-assessment of the land donated to National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) for dry season farming. We want to see whether the available lands are suitable for farming especially dry season farming.
“With what we have seen so far, we can see that Osun has hidden treasures to revamp and redefine the agriculture sector. We have seen the possibility of all-year-round farming here and we are ready to partner the State to reposition agriculture.
“As a matter of fact, when there is all-year-round farming, that means there is all-year-round empowerment and wealth creation, and this is what we are bringing to Osun.
“If you can recall, President Muhammadu Buhari recently flagged off the National Young Farmers Scheme, aimed to engage and attract young Nigerians into productive farming, and this visit is in compliance with the objective of the initiative.
“Going by the places we have visited in Osun, you will agree with me that youths in this State will be making huge money because, with this Scheme, there is no more idleness, no more poverty and hunger.
“There will be full supply of necessary farm equipment, inputs and technical support which include capacity training, capacity building and human capital development.
“So, I am extremely excited that Osun is keying into the lofty initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari to resuscitate the agriculture for the betterment of the citizens, because with the natural resources that Osun is endowed with, there are better days ahead for the citizens, particularly the youth.
“Osun stands to gain a lot from this partnership as unemployment, poverty, hunger and idleness which had been the source of youths restiveness would be eradicated. The State will also benefit greatly from the Scheme in its onerous efforts to empower her citizens and expand its food production capacity.
“I am excited by the commitment of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola to turn around the fortune of agriculture and make the sector the mainstream and bedrock of the State’s socioeconomic development. I am equally glad that he is following the footsteps of Mr. President to revive agriculture sector.”
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Dayo Adewole, said the Administration of Governor Oyetola would do everything possible to ‘walk the talk’ and bring the initiative to fruition.
Adewole, who urged the citizens, particularly the youth, to key into the state’s laudable policies on agriculture by showing interest in farming, assured of government’s readiness to provide necessary support capable of repositioning the sector for mass employment opportunities and food productions.
State Coordinator, National Agricultural Land Development Authority, Alhaji Kazeem Yusuf, expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for reinstating NALDA, just as he assured of the state’s readiness to advance the cause of the scheme.
He disclosed that the state had provided over 1, 000 hectares of land to achieve the set objectives of the programme.
The delegation visited Owala Dan in Olorunda and Egbedore Local Government Areas; Otagere farm settlement in Ede-South Local Government Area, and Oodua farm settlement ,respectively.
Others on the assessment tour are the Coordinating Director, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Mrs. Adegbemisola Fayoyin; Osun Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Atoyebi Sunday, among others.