From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, has been called on to pay personal attention to the needs of real farmers across the state towards safeguarding their future and ensure food security in the state.
The Managing Director of an agro-allied company, OOK Group Nigeria Limited, Omolara Kikelomo, made the appeal at a press conference held in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Friday.
She enjoined Oyo State Government to extend state agricultural grants to the farmers, who are majorly in the villages and farm settlements to achieve sustainable wealth in agriculture.
She added that many real farmers have been obtaining loans with huge interests from microfinance banks to buy fertilizers, and farm implements, including cutlasses, hoes, and sprayers in the state.
Kikelomo, who said the company also operates agribusiness academy that trains those that want to go into farming, apart from operating its own farms in the state, stated: “Government should pay personal attention to the needs of the farmers. Our government knows the sustainable wealth in agriculture, they know what is right and they should pay attention to how we as a nation can tap into a sustainable wealth in agriculture.
“If the government just pays 20 per cent full attention and does the right thing, there is no reason why any Nigerian should be on the street or have to go through desert in search of green pastures. You can imagine, buying a bag of fertilizer for 18,000 naira, the farmers have to borrow loan just to get it.”
“So, I am pleading with Governor Seyi Makinde, please pay personal attention to the needs of farmers in this state. I know you mean well got farmers. Please, reach out to the real farmers. Look into agriculture through the real farmers, not only through those that farm on books.”
Kikelomo, however, urged the Federal Government to increase investment in agriculture in order to reduce hardship in the country and ensure food security. An increased investment in agriculture, according to him, would add value to small scale farmers’ productivity and encourage them to develop their farming businesses.