Governor Oyetola is repositioning the state with the aid of agriculture, writes Abiodun Komolafe
The world is not smiling! Even the most pretentious of all beings will readily admit that times and things are no longer as easy as they used to be. Of course, these are not limited to Nigeria. South Africa recently got out of recession, the first in more than a decade while countries like Turkey, Spain, even, Venezuela, once the most oil-rich nation on earth, are passing through chaotic socio-economic times. Yes, this is the world in which Nigerians dwells today; and by default, it is also the world in which the State of Osun has found itself!
It is with these in mind that Nigerians must commend Governor Gboyega Oyetola of
In a Keynote Address to the ‘2018 Farmers Open Day Festival’, tagged, ‘Odun Alagbinla’, Oyetola
Oyetola lauded government’s strategic partnership and innovative implementation of collaborative initiatives with the International Institute of Agriculture (IITA), a development that has led to the enhancement of farming methods and improvement in yield with its attendant inflow of income.
Quite frankly, ‘Odun Alagbinla’
Sad also to know that Nigeria’s crude oil, once respected for its sky-high rating, has in recent times become victim to consistent meltdown. Now, a barrel of crude goes for as low as $40 in the international market even as the number of barrels produced per day now fluctuates with stammering destiny. Sadder still, it is at a time the global significance of the proverbial cash cow is dangerously haemorrhaging, due, principally, to new discoveries in technology.
Suffice it to say that Osun has never been a “sleeping partner in progress” with other active stakeholders. In the last five years or so, government has implemented programmes like Osun Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Programme (OREAP) and Osun Broilers Out-growers Production Scheme (O’BOPS), all in a bid to shoot the state to greater heights agriculturally. So far, so impressive! Osun currently has the lowest poverty rate in Nigeria. It is also Nigeria’s most peaceful state; second richest state and 5th largest economy, with its forestry sub-sector also 5th in the country. Besides, it is on record that more than 7,000 farmers from 500 cooperative societies have benefited from the state’s low interest loans under the Quick Impact Intervention Programme (QIIP). While support to large scale farmers has shot Osun into the secondposition in the production of poultry, the Rural Access and Mobility Programme (RAMP) has within a short period of time constructed more than 400 kilometres of rural roads in the state.
‘Valet omnino facere valet
Cash crops like Cocoa, Coconut, Rubber and Oil palm play significant roles in the generation of income, gainful employment opportunities to the rural economy and opening-up of the state for commercial activities, among others. Since hope leans on an anchor, Lagos and Kebbi have also shown how collaborative efforts between, and, among states can be profitable.
As fate would have it, 70% of Osun’s over-four million people are farmers. So, it is time Osun stopped behaving like Peter whose shadow was healing the sick while the healer in him lacked financial dominion. But then, who says dear state cannot rear cattle for local consumption? Like the woman with the issue of blood who became whole on touching the hem of Christ’s garment, who says wanton destruction of lives and property, occasioned by farmers/herders’ clashes, cannot be curbed through agriculture? If farms and farming could rescue South Africa from its recession, who says Osun cannot be in the forefront of Nigeria’s return to her enviable position as the ‘Giant of Africa’?
May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, grant us peace in Osun!
Komolafe wrote from Ijebu-Jesa, State of Osun