Friday, 22 May 2020

FOOTAGE OF THE MOMENT OYETOLA FLAGS OFF OSUN 2020 PLANTING SEASON; In-depth report with photos and videos

(Video of the arrival of Gov. Oyetola at the flag off ceremony)

In line with the State of Osun resolve to drive more investments in the Agriculture and Mining sectors, the State Executive Council,  at its last virtual meeting, presided over by His Excellency, Adegboyega Oyetola, the Executive governor of the state on Monday 18th 0f May 2020, agreed to empower 5,764 farmers in the State to grow cassava, cotton and engage in fish farming, with support from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

It was also revealed that 12 of the state's local government areas have earmarked about 2000 hectares of land for farming in addition to the existing farm settlements in different parts of the State. This is in preparation for the commencement of this year's planting season.

Thursday, 21st May 2020, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola flagged off the year 2020 planting season with input support to 6000 farmers to develop the Agriculture sector and improve food security and sufficiency.

The Governor at the flag off ceremony at the State Secretariat, Abere, Osogbo disclosed that his administration was fully committed to developing the agriculture value chain in all strata adding that his government had created an enabling environment for the agric business to thrive in a way that more youths and investors can earn a living and create employment through the establishment of cottage industries in the state.

He maintained that his administration understands the importance of farmers in developing the economy of the state and that captains of industry have been engaged to off-take farm produce in the area of arable crops, livestock, among others so as to make agribusiness more profitable.

"In the previous years, our supports were in form of subsidised inputs. But this year, we are giving agricultural inputs such as maize seeds, cassava cuttings, vegetable seeds, lime, fingerlings, and Knapsack sprayers free to farmers to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on all the citizenry within and outside the State. The State Government has great concern for their welfare and wellbeing, hence the distribution of the inputs freely as palliatives to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

"Also, arrangements are in top gear to disburse soft loans to small and medium scale enterprises at a reduced interest rate through the Bank of Agriculture (BOA). Our livestock farmers are not left out. There is a World Bank Project called Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support Project (L-PRES) to support livestock farmers in the State, which will take off this year, God willing. Our state is one of the 15 beneficiary states of the project. Our Osun Broiler Outgrowers’ Production Scheme (OBOPS) is on-going. We are preparing for its further expansion to accommodate more participants", Oyetola added.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Speaker of the State of Osun House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Timothy Owoeye commended the federal government, the Central Bank of Nigeria for the interventions and contributions in supporting the state in its resolve to revamping the agriculture just as he lauded Governor Gboyega Oyetola for his zeal and doggedness to actualize the dream of food security and sufficiency in the state. He further advised that all political office holders of the government should set good example by going back to the farm.

In his remarks, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Chief. Adedayo Adewole, a.k.a Opele IFA, applauded Governor Oyetola, for turning around the socio-economic fortunes of the state  for the betterment of the citizenry, particularly, for his commitment  to the well-being of farmers in the state.

Watch video below:

He disclosed the Ministry was partnering with private sector and well-meaning individuals to revive the agriculture sector in the state.

Adewole who described agriculture as the way to go if the nation was serious in its quest to diversify the economy said Osun had been making waves in its efforts to make agriculture more profitable for the farmers.

                                (watch video)

The Commissioner for land, Hon. Nathanielle Agunbiade, identified the availability of land for agricultural purposes as one of the problems being faced by farmers as he hinted that the administration of Governor Gboyega Oyetola is giving the provision of lands for farmers a priority. He also mentioned the resolve of his office to process Certificate of Occupancy for farmers in maximum period of 90 days where such is needed.

Also, the Osogbo Branch Controller, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Ajuma Madojemu, in her speech said that the bank was aware of the prompt intervention of the government to reposition agriculture and make the sector the state's economy mainstay maintaining that, the bank in recognition of its role as an “enabler” in the economy, had always provided either solely or in conjunction with the federal government, an environment to quicken the pace of economic development.

 "One of our recent development intervention programs is the Anchor Borrowers Programme aimed at enabling the nation reduce its huge food import bill and conserve our foreign reserves" adding that "the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) was launched by President Muhammed Buhari on 17th November, 2015 with the aim of linking smallholder farmers with Anchors (processors) who would ensure a ready market for farm produce as Anchors guarantee purchase of whatever the farmers produce." She said.

Also speaking, the Chairman, Nigeria Cassava Growers' Association, Dr David Ogunsade, expressed gratitude to the state government for making farmers' welfare priority.

He said: " I have to thank the government for its positive interventions to boost production of cassava crops as we have received inputs, chemicals and fertilizer for about 1346 farmers from various local governments in the state.

"We have resolved to use all the inputs for our agricultural activities as we are committed to increase our own production in Osun to over 2million tons so as to be able to compete with our sister states", he stressed.

The Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Osun state chapter, Alhaji Sulaiman Araokanmi, hailed the state government for uplifting the standard of living of farmers in the state since assumption of office.

The event was attended by the wife of the Governor, Mrs. Kafayat Oyetola; Deputy Governor, Mr. Benedict Alabi; Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye; Secretary to the State Government, Prince Wole Oyebamiji; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr. Charles Akinola; Head of Service, Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade among others.

More photos on the distribution of some of the agricultural inputs:

(All photos and video credit: Oladimeji Lasore)

Oladimeji Lasore reporting for Kakaki Oodua Media Services........

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