Thursday, 4 July 2019

Osun Farmers' Field Day 2019; Owoeye Advocates Aggressive Agricultural Programme

The Osun State House of Assembly Speaker, Rt. Hon. Timothy Owoeye has thanked the State of Osun governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola for prioritizing agriculture. He decried how Agriculture tgat was the main stay of the Nigeria economy right from the time of independence has been relegated by government due to relevance of oil as a major contributor to the Nigeria's economic grow in the era of oil boom. However, due to fall in international price of oil in the third quarter of 2014 resulting to a decline in revenue thereby, leading to contraction of economic activities which subsequently plunged the economy into recession, noting that in spite of the oil and the challenges, agriculture remains the base of the Nigerian economy, providing the main source of livelihood for most Nigerians.

Rt. Hon. Timothy Owoeye made the declaration at the event of 2019 Osun Farmers' Field Day organized by Osun government in collaboration with International Institute of  Tropical Agriculture and the State chapter of All Farmers' Association of Nigeria held on Wednesday 3rd July, 2019 at the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, Osogbo.

The occasion was to give the IITA, a scientific community to have a forum where Osun farmers will come together, interact, share ideas about what is working, what is not working. An opportunity to be avail of modern practices in Agriculture so that it will be increase in productivity.

The Osun Assembly Speaker seized the occasion referred to 1962 to 1968 where the old Western region of Nigeria relied on Cocoa and palm oil production as main source revenue generation. He therefore suggested that Osun government should organize a summit on agricultural reawakening where there will be decision on which agricultural produce to prioritize and invest massively in.

The governor of the State of Osun, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola in his speech highlighted some of the initiatives that will move Osun agricultural sector forward. These include  the provision of an additional 20,000 hectares of land for farmers and establishment of new farm settlements, agro-industrial parks and produce markets.  He explained further that the farm settlement would focus on integrated agricultural development on crops, livestock, fisheries, and comprehensive farm centres where farmers will have access to farm inputs, extension services, information and and market intelligence services, produce storage and other support services.

The Director General of IITA, Dr Alfred Dickson speaking through his spokesman, Dr. Adeniyi Adetoro, mentioned that IITA's main priority is ensuring a food secure future for sub-Saharan Africa. "We focus on key research themes that address staple food crops, including
banana and plantain, cassava, cowpea, maize, soybean, yam. Improving livelihoods across sub-Saharan Africa is IITA’s biggest priority. It is where the research meets the real world. Our Social Science and Agribusiness initiatives have a wide-reaching impact that enables us to put our biggest breakthroughs into use and see how they shape policy, production, and people’s lives." He said

The Branch Manager of the Bank of Agriculture, Mrs. Olukemi Olusesi, also speaking, confirmed that money is available for disbursement to farmers cooperative societies in due course.

Alhaji Suleiman Araokanmi, the State of Osun President of  AFAN, informed the gatgering in his speech that the factional rancor between Osun Farmers'Association has been settled.

Present at the were, the governor, State of Osun, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, deputy governor, Mr. Benedict Alabi,  OSHA Speaker Rt. Hon. Timothy Owoeye , Wife of Governor, Mrs. Kafayat Oyetola, SSG, Prince Wole Oyebamiji, CoS, Dr. Charles Akinola, IITA D.G. Dr. Alfred Dickson, AFAN president, Alhaji Sule Araokanmi, Mrs. Bank of Agriculture's Branch Manager, Mrs. Olukem Olusesi among others.

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