By Roseline Okakah
The 2023 Agricultural Show and Food Fair has been expanded to impact positively on the people.
The Chairman of the Ondo state Agricultural Commodities Associations OSACA , Mr. Gbenga Obaweya stated this, yesterday in an interview with The Hope
He said”we have expanded our reach to the involvement of the trade and investment Minister in Abuja, we have also extended our reach to the Commerce and Industry Ministry in Ondo state because we are involved in value addition and marketing of our goods in addition to being primary producers” he said.
“Also we are reaching out to states in the southwest even as we are looking forward to the involvement of various groups from across the country through the instrumentation of the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security,” he added.
Also speaking on the involvement of the participants, he added that efforts have been made to mobilize farmers from various local government of the State through the Local Government Councils so that they can exhibit peculiar crops and products from their various local government.
Obaweya also emphasized that the importance of the Agric show and food fair is to enable the participants to form partnerships even far beyond the state, expose them to modern trends, give them new friends and partners that are far outside Ondo state.
“It will also enable those of us within the state to be able to meet, network and to also be encouraged and inspired by the accomplishment of our fellow agropreneurs within the state and far outside the state”, he stressed.
Speaking on the progress of the organization, Obaweya said the organization is not where it used to be before and there has been active involvement of various age groups in agriculture which is very impressive.
“We now have more youths involved in Agriculture, we have youths that can come out as startups and not necessarily youths that have inherited farms from their parents but young people that have actually taken interest in agriculture and agribusiness and have started from the scratch in various field of agriculture and agribusiness.
“We have young people who have also taken to digital marketing of Agricultural products and so many fields .
He also mentioned some of the challenges facing farmers which have become a threat to the sector.
“But we have major setback particularly in the area of insecurity. People are not feeling safe to go to their farms or to stay in their farms because of the fear of being kidnapped or attacked.
“We also have a great challenge of very bad rural road network which makes accessibility to the farm very poor and which also leads to a lot of post harvest losses. Then we have the astronomic increase in the price of various inputs occasioned by high inflation and exchange rate that has gone haywire”.
He urged farmers to work together and encourage one another in this trying time so that the rough terrain and huge challenge can become easier for them to face.