By Chris Chimezie
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has emphasized the need for agricultural development in order to create employment for the teeming unemployed youths in the country.
The Governor stated this during a courtesy visit by the delegation from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in his office in Akure yesterday.
He explained that creating employment was part of the cardinal points of his administration, and would be achieved extensively through Agriculture.
The governor also said the drive of zero oil economy by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was in line with food security and Agriculture.
“The only way for us is to go back to basic is agriculture, which is the fulcrum if we want to achieve zero oil economy.
“Majority of our farmers are now into massive rice farming and we are not importing much rice anymore and we are all happy about it.
“I can assure you that we are committed to supporting whatever programmes you have because we know of your commitment in supporting us in all our agricultural ventures,” he assured.
Earlier, Leader of the delegation and FAO representative in Nigeria, Mr Suffyan Koroma, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative Nigeria had sought the support of the state government in combating a disease known as “Fall Army worm” in the state.
He explained that a significant number of Extension workers and farmers have been trained to checkmate the disease, which he said, came from the United States of America, and affects 80 varieties of crops especially maize.
Koroma lauded Governor Akeredolu for making agriculture his administration’s major priority in the state.
He also commended the Akeredolu-led administration for recognizing the role agriculture can play in alleviating food insecurity and also generate income for the transformation of the state as well as creating employment opportunities for the youths.
The team leader expressed satisfaction over the existence of the National Programme for Food Security (NPFS) in the state which was designed and managed by FAO 20 years ago to further secure foods for the citizenry.
Present at the event includes; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Olugbenga Ale, Head of Service, Barr Toyin Akinkuotu, Assistant FAO representatives, Mr Ahmed Matane, FAO Consultant on Extension Services, Mr Alponsos Onwuemeka, FAO Programme Officer, Ms Adeola Akinrinlola and its Media Officer, Ms Helen Okon.The team leader expressed satisfaction over the existence of the National Programme for Food Security (NPFS) in the state which was designed and managed by FAO 20 years ago to further secure foods for the citizenry.