The Federal Government has commended the administration of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun for the huge investment made to revive the agriculture sector in the State.
The Federal Government also acknowledged the State government for keying into many of its policies aimed at revamping, resuscitating and rejuvenating the agriculture sector for greater and maximum productivity.
This was even as the Federal Government expressed readiness to commence all-year-round farming in Osun as part of efforts to ensure food security and avert the possible effect of food scarcity in the dry season.
The Executive Secretary/CEO, National Agricultural Land Development Authority ( NALDA), Prince Paul Ikonne stated these on Tuesday during his on-the-spot assessment of irrigation sites and other farm settlements in Osun.
Ikonne had visited the State to assess and access the expanse of lands suitable for all-year-round farming as the nation was approaching dry season.
It will be recalled that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government in November this year reinstated NALDA which had been moribund, and flagged off National Young Farmers Scheme, as part of his administration’s commitment to reviving the agriculture sector and making it the bedrock of the nation’s economy.
Addressing journalists during his tour of some of the farm settlements in the State, Ikonne said the team came to Osun on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to aggregate suitable lands for all-year-round farming and work out modalities to retrieve all the already- acquired lands under the agency.
He said Osun was chosen as one of the piloting States, having attested to the government’s commitment to revamping the sector.
The NADAL Executive Secretary who extolled the commitment of Governor Oyetola towards the actualisation of the national economic diversification, expressed satisfaction at the available suitable lands provided by the State government to drive and actualise the initiative.
He disclosed that the all-year-round farming process would commence in Osun by the first week of January, 2021 as necessary facilities had been provided by the President to actualise the dream.
“We are here on the spot-assessment of the land donated to National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) for dry season farming. We want to see whether the available lands are suitable for farming especially dry season farming.
“With what we have seen so far, we can see that Osun has hidden treasures to revamp and redefine the agriculture sector. We have seen the possibility of all-year-round farming here and we are ready to partner the State to reposition agriculture.
“As a matter of fact, when there is all-year-round farming, that means there is all-year-round empowerment and wealth creation, and this is what we are bringing to Osun.
“If you can recall, President Muhammadu Buhari recently flagged off the National Young Farmers Scheme, aimed to engage and attract young Nigerians into productive farming, and this visit is in compliance with the objective of the initiative.
“Going by the places we have visited in Osun, you will agree with me that youths in this State will be making huge money because, with this Scheme, there is no more idleness, no more poverty and hunger.
“There will be full supply of necessary farm equipment, inputs and technical support which include capacity training, capacity building and human capital development.
“So, I am extremely excited that Osun is keying into the lofty initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari to resuscitate the agriculture for the betterment of the citizens, because with the natural resources that Osun is endowed with, there are better days ahead for the citizens, particularly the youth.
“Osun stands to gain a lot from this partnership as unemployment, poverty, hunger and idleness which had been the source of youths restiveness would be eradicated. The State will also benefit greatly from the Scheme in its onerous efforts to empower her citizens and expand its food production capacity.
“I am excited by the commitment of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola to turn around the fortune of agriculture and make the sector the mainstream and bedrock of the State’s socioeconomic development. I am equally glad that he is following the footsteps of Mr. President to revive agriculture sector”, Ikonne added.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Dayo Adewole, said the Administration of Governor Oyetola would do everything possible to ‘walk the talk’ and bring the initiative to fruition.
Adewole who urged the citizens, particularly the youth to key into the State’s laudable policies on agriculture by showing interest in farming, assured of government’s readiness to provide necessary support capable of repositioning the sector for mass employment opportunities and food productions.
The State Coordinator, National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), Alhaji Kazeem Yusuf, expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for reinstating NALDA, just as he assured the State’s readiness to advance the cause of the Scheme.
He disclosed that the State had provided over 1, 000 hectares of land to achieve the set objectives of the programme.
The delegation visited Owala Dan in Olorunda and Egbedore Local Government Areas; Otagere farm settlement in Ede-South Local Government Area, and Oodua farm settlement respectively.
Others on the assessment tour were the Coordinating Director, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Mrs. Adegbemisola Fayoyin; Osun Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Atoyebi Sunday, among others.