Enhancing Food Production In Ondo state
A major selling point of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s administration from inception is the readiness to put in place a strategic plan for agricultural transformation that revolves round activities which have potential to boost food production as a prelude to food security in the state.
THE resolve to promote food production by the state government was precipitated on recognition that food security is the backbone of any economy. Food security according to the United Nations’ is a state where people have unrestricted economic, social and physical access to nutritious and safe food that can satisfy their dietary needs, for leading a healthy and active life.
AS long as there is food security, the economy has a potential to grow. A nation or community that fails to provide food for its people is at the mercy of those who can.
ACKNOWLEDGING that the only sustainable way to reclaim economic momentum and drive prosperity is to go back to the land and develop agricultural production, Akeredolu’s government has for the umpteenth time restated its commitment to continue making and implementing policies targeted at boosting the agricultural sector. Truth, no amount of fund invested in such endeavour can be a waste as it will pay off in the long run.
AMONG the programmes recently initiated by the government to boost agricultural sector include YOUTH on Ridges, a programme designed for youths to embrace agriculture and create employment through its value chain.
AT the flagg-off of the programme, the governor, assured that they will be trained by experts in various fields of agriculture, while describing the initiative as a veritable opportunity on completion of their trainings, successful participants would be grouped into cooperatives to be able to access finances for their ventures.
THE governor further informed that the “Youth on the Ridges”, was designed to empower youths in agricultural business and engage in agricultural value chain development stressing The programme said to be a deliberate way to create awareness on improved food production, is also expected to arouse the interest of youths in agriculture and promote youth employment by engaging no fewer than 18,000 youths across the state.
IT is heart warming that the Akeredolu administration has created enabling environments for youths and women to take up career in modern agriculture through some interventions which include opening of modern Agricultural Villages and establishment of Cocoa farm to be plotted on hectare basis for youth empowerment to boost cocoa production in the state.
OTHER interventions include training of no fewer than 2,500 youths on Cassava Value Addition, Agri-Business Empowerment Centre, OSAEC, provision of credit facilities for youth and women under FADAMA III among others, not to mention a joint Venture with NNPC for the establishment of Cassava-Ethanol factory at Okeluse, and the CBN/NIRSAL accelerated National Egg production where the state was selected as the pilot state among others.
WHILE we applaud Ondo state’s programmes towards food security we call on government to look into land use tenure and land allocation system such that local governments are apportioned land for agriculture.
WE equally want school farming to be encouraged with government supporting the programmes with facilities and security, and resources.
MORE importantly The Hope advocates cooperation and strong partnership among stakeholders to ensure all categories of food items are available round the year.
THAT way the state will not only be free from hunger but also be playing a leading role in liberating the nation from food crisis.
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