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We’ll prioritise farmers’ security to boost food production — Aiyedatiwa

Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State has reiterated his administration’s commitment to prioritise the security of lives and property of farmers to boost food production and reduce hunger in the state.

Aiyedatiwa made the pledge at the inauguration of the new executive members of the Ondo State Agricultural Commodities Association (OSACA) on Wednesday in Akure.

The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Olayide Adelami, said the time had come for farmers to go into sustainable farming to increase production.

He said his administration had committed a lot of resources in the development of agriculture and promotion of food sufficiency in the state.

“Our government has initiated and delivered several noble agricultural projects and policies in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

“Recently, the state government contributed 1,200 metric tonnes of grains as palliative to farmers to address the rise of food prices in the state.

“We have embarked on massive construction and rehabilitation of access roads in various communities through the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP).

“So, the primary responsibility of the government is the provision of the security of lives and property, and our government is very responsible,” he said.

Aiyedatiwa, while congratulating the new OSACA executives, called on farmers to increase food sufficiency, reduce prices of agricultural products and leverage on the use of technology to boost production.

Earlier, Chief Abiodun Adejo, the new OSACA Chairman, who appreciated government’s support to farmers in the state, said more would be done to actively involve the association in formulation of government policies to ensure food security.

“We want the government to know that one of our major problems now is insecurity where farmers are being kidnapped or killed and crops uprooted to feed cows by herdsmen.

“Many farmers have abandoned their farms due to the scare of being machete or killed.

“So, we are praying that government should find lasting solution to the menace so that the issue of no food could be a thing of the past,” he said.

Also, Mr Olugbenga Obaweya, the outgoing OSACA Chairman, attributed his achievements to the training, seminar, field trips and rigorous engagements employed by the various commodity associations to make the modest progress.

Obaweya explained that OSACA comprised 26 agricultural commodities association, saying that food availability, accessibility and affordability was very important for the survival of any nation.

According to him, the issue of security is beyond what farmers can handle on their own.

He, therefore, called on government to intensify efforts to make sure farms and roads were safe for farmers so that there would be food sufficiency.

Similarly, Mrs Olufunmilayo Obada, a former Manager, Bank of Agriculture, Akure, called on farmers to collaborate with the bank to enhance food security in the state.

“I’m calling on our youths and women to embrace farming as a business to move forward in more technological ways, not hoe and cutlass,” Obada said.

The new OSACA executives are Chief Abiodun Adejo, chairman; Bayo Ogundare, male vice chairman; Mrs Taye Afilaka, female vice chairman; and Youth Chairman, Engr Ademola Akinbobade.

Others are Secretary, Akin Ogunniyi; Assistant Secretary, Mr Sanni Olatunde; Public Relations Officer, Mr Sunday Akanji; Financial Secretary, Mr Olarugbode and Treasurer, S.S Ogunleye. (NAN)

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