By Olayinka Owolewa
The Kwara State government has launched a 500 hectare pilot farm program labeled “Kwara Farm” in the local government area of Ifelodun to enhance food security.
The program was launched to create farming communities to feed future agripreneurs, improve the productivity of smallholder farmers, and enhance food security in the state.
The Farm Kwara initiative is domiciled in the office of the Governor’s Senior Special Assistant for Non-Governmental Affairs and Team Leader of the National Young Farmers Program.
The Farm Kwara initiative will soon begin the process of accessing 500 hectares of land in other areas of the local government to create agricultural estates and allocate up to five hectares each to 100 young farmers.
This initiative, which emerged from the recently launched Kwara Agricultural Transformation Plan, is facilitated by the government to help young farmers obtain land and financial facilities to repay as part of a win-win deal.
Speaking at the launch of the program in the Adanla community of the local government of Ifelodun, the deputy governor of Kwara, Kayode Alabi, said that half of the beneficiaries would be women.
Alabi added that participants will receive inputs, mechanization and technical support to ensure sustainability.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mariam Muhammad, the deputy governor said: “Today’s program is another effort to ensure food security, develop and expand the vast potential agriculture of the state and the nation as a whole.
“For a nation to achieve food security, we must first ensure the transformation of the agricultural sector from age-old subsistence practice into a productively smart and innovative enterprise that is not only green but sustainable.
“This can be achieved by drawing modern techniques into the values of agricultural products in the state. It is essentially the hallmark of the national youth farm program.
“On our side, as a government, we will spare no effort to meaningfully engage our young people and women in different productive enterprises to fight against hunger and poverty on our land,” Alabi said.
The technical assistant to the governor in charge of agriculture, AbdulQowiy Olododo, said the program was one of the initiatives of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s administration to ensure that young people are in paid employment.
“Fundamentally, the government has supported land clearing and this project is supported by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Sterling Bank and IITA, in Ibadan, to involve young people in agribusiness,” he said. he declares.
“This is a pilot project because it will extend to the 16 local authorities in the state.
“What we want is to drastically reduce the youth unemployment rate.
“As it spreads to the 16 local government zones, you can imagine the ripple effects on the economy.
“It’s not just on the farm; others along the value chain will benefit from this initiative. So this is a way to reduce unemployment and to engage our young people productively, ”said Olododo.
The Governor’s Senior Special Assistant for Community Response, Kayode Oyin-Zubair, said the government supports the development of the state through a bottom-up approach to ensure uniform development and reduce rural-urban drift.
“This program is part of our efforts to develop rural communities and allow rural dwellers to remain in their natural homes.
“Farmers and investors will jointly benefit from the program. The government will not interfere with the program to ensure its success and sustainability. Interference in the past has not allowed such programs to succeed, ”Oyin-Zubair said.
The governor’s senior special assistant for job creation, Aliyu Alhassan, explained that the Kwara farm, which was designed to feed agripreneurs, would be focused on trade.
“We have technical partners, investors and key stakeholders who will support the program to ensure better returns and empower our employees,” said Alhassan.
Elerin of Adanla, Oba David Oyerinola Adedunmoye, praised the state government not only for transforming the economy, but also for raising a cream of agriprenuers to make young job creators and curb unrest in the state.
“Today’s event is quite historic as the governor is changing the face of the agricultural sector in the state using Adanla-Irese as a case study.
“This is a clear demonstration and confirmation of the rural transformation agenda among several other laudable programs that the government is implementing.
“For our part, my community has graciously offered an expanse of land for the state and federal government support program in rebranding the agricultural sector and developing rural areas,” Adedunmoye said.
He urged the government to make this program a renewable program to fight unemployment and fight poverty in the country. (NOPE)
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