By Lola Omowaye
Agriculture has been described as the quickest way to create wealth and develop the economy if the necessary machineries are put in place.
Head of Department ( HOD) Agronomy Crops and Director of Centre for entrepreneurship and value chain, Federal College of Agriculture (FECA), Dr. Emmanuel Moyinjesu, stated this in an interview with The Hope in his office in Akure.
Moyinjesu, also stressed the need for subsidy in agriculture to boost food production in the state and the country at large.
He listed three approaches that could assist in revitalising Cocoa production in the state, noting that the fall in the prices of crude oil is a call to Nigeria to return to agriculture, which he said was the mainstream of the economy used to finance monumental projects including free education, potable water project and roads among others in the old western region led by late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
He affirmed that agriculture is the strength of the economy and charged governments at all levels to develop sustainable and functional approaches to boost agriculture in their states, particularly in Ondo state which is the home of Cocoa production.
According to him, the first approach would be for the government to acquire more lands specifically for agriculture stressing that a bill making the state to set aside 30 per cent of land for agriculture will help further to boost Cocoa and other food production in the state.
He advocated that more farm settlements be established, particularly at the eighteen local government areas.
The don appealed to the government to encourage youths to go into agriculture through massive mobilisation, training on entrepreneurship, access to and availability of seedings at subsidised rate.
While stating that farmers should be encouraged and generously rewarded, Moyinjesu stressed the need for the state to partner with neighbouring countries in form of training, raising of seedlings, establishing research institute and planting of drought resistant crops among others.
His words: Cocoa revolution started with Chief Obafemi Awolowo. From it, we had the bulk of income and resources to fund monumental projects in old western region but we deviated when the oil came.
Agriculture is the quickest way to create wealth and develop the economy. It is our strength. To revive cocoa, adequate lands is required he said .