(From Victor Adeoti, NAN)
The Federal Government says it is ready to commence all year round farming in Osun to ensure food security and avert the possible effects of food scarcity in the dry season.
Mr Paul Ikonne, Executive Secretary, National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), made the disclosure during an on-the-spot assessment of irrigation sites and other farm settlements in Osun on Tuesday.
He said the team came to Osun on the directives 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.
According to him, Osun is one of the pilot states for the project.
Ikonne commended Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun for the huge investments made to revive the agriculture sector in the state.
He said that the all year round farming process would commence in the state by January 2021, adding that necessary facilities had been provided by the President to actualise the dream.
Ikonne also commended the Osun government for keying into many of the Federal Government’s policies aimed at revamping, resuscitating and rejuvenating the agriculture sector for greater and maximum productivity.
”If you can recall, President Buhari recently inaugurated the National Young Farmers Scheme to engage and attract young Nigerians into productive farming. 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 the full supply of necessary farm equipment, inputs and technical support which includes, capacity training, capacity building and human capital development,” Ikonne said.
In his remarks, Mr Dayo Adewole, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security in Osun, said the administration of Gov. Oyetola would do everything possible to ‘walk the talk’ and bring the initiative to fruition.
Adewole, who urged residents particularly the youths 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.
Also, Alhaji Kazeem Yusuf, Coordinator, NALDA, Osun, expressed gratitude to President Buhari for reinstating NALDA.
He assured that the state was ready to advance the cause of the scheme.
Yusuf disclosed that the state provided over 1, 000 hectares of land to achieve the set objectives of the programme.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that President Buhari had in November 2020 reinstated NALDA which had been moribund.
The National Young Farmers Scheme was also inaugurated under NALDA as part of the Federal Government’s commitment to reviving the agriculture sector and making it the bedrock of the nation’s economy.