By Mary Agidi
Ose Local Government Chairman, Mr. Agboola Ajike (3rdL) inspecting some of the cocoa chemicals and cutlasses distributed to cocoa farmers in Ose
No fewer than 360 farmers in Ose Local government area of Ondo State will this week get agricultural inputs ranging from cocoa seedlings to cutlasses in an empowerment programme flagged off yesterday by the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Local government, Hon. Agboola Ajike in Ifon the LG headquarters.
Speaking with The Hope concerning the gesture, Ajike explained that the programme which will covers a week is in line with the five points agenda of the State governor, Arakurin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to create jobs through agriculture, noting that 25,000 cocoa seedlings are to be distributed for the beneficiaries.
According to him, the programme targets 30 farmers from each of the 12 wards of the local government and will be held in the three zones of the area taking off from the central in other to ease the stress of farmers in getting the products.
“The programme is all about empowering our farmers in line with the five points agenda of the governor. We need to empower our farmers, to encourage them because the best thing you can do to any nation is to boost its agriculture.
“We are giving out 25,000 seedlings of cocoa, cutlasses and chemicals to encourage them ,we are looking at 30 farmers per ward and we have 12 wards in Ose local government, so, about 360 farmers will benefit from the programme”, he said.
He therefore advised beneficiaries of inputs to plant the cocoa seedlings appropriately and manage other inputs very well.
He urged them to support and encourage the Akeredolu’s led administration especially his vision to create jobs through agriculture.
Speaking on other agricultural programmes that the Local government is putting in place to boost agriculture, the Caretaker Chairman noted that over 30 youths of Ose are already undergoing FADAMA GUYS training programme in Ikare Akoko, a programme he described as a boost by the Federal government to encourage youths in agriculture.
He advised the youths in FADAMA programme to make judicious use of the opportunity in order to be financially independent at the end of the training by utilizing the funds that will be given to them on the purpose for which it is being given.
“They should embrace integrity because I realized that at the end of the day, they will be given funds; the money should be wisely spent. If you embark on monthly salary you might be financially stable but with what the government is doing via FADAMA, they are trying to empower the youths and I can assure that in time to come, these youths will have financial freedom”. He added.
Ajike who noted that about 70% of youths of the local government has embraced agriculture, expressed optimism that in the next one-two years Ondo state will be an Eldorado considering all the programmes of the State government that are geared towards promoting agriculture.
He added that if adequate focus is shifted to agriculture in Nigeria, it will be easy to come out of recession, noting that if food is available for all, other things will follow.
In his comment at the flag off ceremony, the All Progressive Party Chairman in the Local government, Hon. Jacob Oredola lauded the programme saying it will complement the programme of APC government to promote job creation through agricultural programmes.
His words: “I am here to witness the distribution of farm inputs for cocoa farmers; certain inputs, a lot of cocoa seedlings, Germalin, cutlasses and others were presented by Agboola Ajike to assist the farmers.
“They should utilise the opportunity, this programme is a long time investment for them, if they invest very well now in the next five years they will start harvesting and they will harvest for more than 30 years”.
The APC chieftain commended the turnout of beneficiaries and charged them to make use of the tools to benefit their future and therefore appreciated the Local government chairman for the distribution.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke with The Hope described the gesture as encouraging and commended the Chairman for the initiative.
Mr. Akogun from Okeluse, Mrs Omowumi Isaac, Mrs Adenike from Ijagba ward 7 ,among others, appreciated the programme, noting that it will go a long way to improve their cocoa farming system.
They all admitted that no government has ever done such in the local government and thanked the chairman for the support and the progress he has recorded so far within the limited time he resumed office and despite the meager resources available.