The Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has listed the various strategies employed by his government to make agriculture much more attractive especially to the younger generation in the state.
He said the strategies have worked, as the state has been reaping the fruits in forms of increased activities in the food production sector.The Governor said massive supports for farmers, modern technological trainings for enhanced yields, provision of improved seedlings and engagement and encouragements in forms of loans and lands with provision of access roads to farming communities in the state have all helped to bring farming into focus.
Aregbesola listed these strategies when he hosted the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh in his Office in Osogbo.Both the governor and the minister sought partnership as part of the way out of the current economic challenges being experienced by Nigerians.
Argebsola said the present economy has left Nigerians with options of either to develop or destroy, thus calling for massive participation in agriculture.He said with the present state of the country’s economy, agriculture has shown to be the only sector that has capacity to deliver the nation from her current economic bondage.
Aregbesola attributed the current recession to inability of Nigerian people to promote agriculture, saying it is high time for every reasonable government to invest largely in the sector.He said all the reasonable, responsible and progress-seeking nations are looking for alternative to oil to fuel their engines for industrial process, a development which he said will bid a farewell to oil production in the world.
According to him, “alternative to oil is a quest of all nations. A time is coming when oil will no longer serve the mono-economic that it serves now, thus, Nigeria must come to that grim reality that in 25 years to come, there will not be revenue from oil.
“So, considering development, the only viable alternative is to till the land for massive agriculture to ensure better economic alternative. We all need to go back to the land. Let us start by feeding ourselves. We don’t need to wait till we get machineries. Let us develop spirit of farming. Farming is the only way to economic prosperity of the Nigerian nation. Let’s do whatever we can as individuals, groups and governments to promote agriculture. Desperate situation calls for desperate solution.”
While speaking, the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development said it is unfortunate that Nigeria is still spending billions of dollars on food importation, thus calling for massive collaboration and partnership between and among the various authorities to revamp agriculture.
“By December this year we will stop the importation of rice into the country, its a pity that as a nation we spend about $5million on the importation of rice on a daily basis.“We have no choice in this country now, but to get back to the land and begin to till the land to be able to free ourselves and the land from poverty because oil and gas can no longer do it. Our dreams of big foreign exchange earnings must stop and its a pity that all our revenue is being spent on servicing debts.”