Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan
The Oyo State Government has reassured smallholder farmers of improved support and integration into the development plan of the state, in accordance with the four-point agenda of the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration.
The Government, in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Wasiu Olatunbosun, said, the intervention would spur productivity and enhance the quality of food consumed by the people in the state.
The statement disclosed that the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Adeniyi Adebisi, gave the assurance, while declaring open a 4-day training for Agricultural Extension Workers, organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, at the Oyo State Agriculture Development Programme (OYSADEP) Office, Apata, Ibadan.
Adebisi noted that the training was one of the ways of stemming the tide of the declining number and low skill of small scale farmers, which had hampered the adoption of best practices and new innovations, resulting in low productivity and rejection of Nigerian products abroad.
He promised the infusion of modern farming technology and financial assistance, along with training and retraining of Oyo state farmers, to engender quality assurance in the agricultural value chains.
Adebisi further commended the Federal Government for relentlessly improving and building the capacity of farmers across the 36 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory, and donating 3 motorcycles to Oyo State for Agricultural Extension delivery, adding that the development would help smallholder farmers in the state overcome the teething challenges associated with farming, thereby alleviating poverty and unemployment, while also boosting food sufficiency.
The statement noted that the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Mahmoud Abubakar, represented by the Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaja Balikis Abdulateef, hinted that one of the key recommendations was to build the capacity of youths and existing practitioners in Agricultural Extension delivery system, exposing and equipping them with best global practices and tool to enable them deliver efficiently.
According to the Minister, Nigerians desire to see that the agricultural extension delivery system in the country meets global competitiveness, to ensure there is adequate and quality food for the teeming population and some to augment the country’s foreign earnings.
The ceremony also had in attendance other management staff of the Ministry, Farmers, participants from the 33 local government areas of Oyo State and seasoned resource persons, among others.
Oyo Government to integrate of local farmers into development plan