Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has leased 500 acres of farmland at his farm in Iseyin, Oyo State to Oke Ogun Youths through the OkeOgun Green Revolution initiative.
Obasanjo, who was special guest of honor and keynote speaker at the just concluded Oke Ogun Youth Agric Summit in Iseyin, said he leased the land to the youths free of charge because he wants them to engage in profitable and commercial agriculture.
The former President said for Nigeria to have a sufficient food and food security there is need for increased participation of youths in agribusiness.
The ex- Head of State, who is also a farmer, said peace, security, quality leadership and favourable government policies on agric sector will not only enhance their participation in the sector but also create more jobs, reduce poverty and boost development.
”We cannot be talking of food security when we don’t have security, quality local leadership, accessibility to the farmlands and other basic needs to help agriculture all this put together will encourage farmers to work not only for the ones to eat but to export as well,” he stressed.
Obasanjo, who disclosed he initiated Ogun Osun River Basin, Badagry – Sokoto road, Ikere Gorge dam and others projects to open up Oke Ogun and other parts of Nigeria to boost agriculture, lamented “unfortunately there was no follow up.”
Although he said Governor Seyi Makinde has assured him he would fix infrastructure and road to ensure maximum potential of Ikere gorge dam, the former President said the projects will not only boost agriculture but also generate electricity and water supply to other part of the western region.
Coroborating Obasanjo’s , Mr Adeniji Kolawole of Niji Farms, said government policies on agriculture should be designed in such a way that it would enhance more participation in the sector.
He said proper education on agric business, mechanized farming and provision of basic infrastructures and amenities will enhance food security.
He offered to assist the youth through training as off takers of their produce and facilitating financial loans through banks to boost thier interest.
Former Minister of Agriculture, Otunba Bamidele Dada, advised the youths to form strong collaborations and alliances with local and internation agencies for more support.
The chairman, South West Security Network Codenamed Amotekun, Brig. Kunle Togun (Rtd), while speaking on security and agriculture in Oke Ogun, cautioned traditional rulers from selling land to the non indigenes in their domains.
Togun said: ” War is looming the Bororos, who are killing and attacking our people, are not Nigerians and their mission is to capture the Yorubaland because they see it as their inheritance from Allah which they must conquered by all means.”
The coordinator of Oke Ogun Youths Association, Bola Olalere, explained the summit was to enlighten and encourage the younger generations on the importance of agric business and the need to tap from its immense benefits.
“There is prosperity on our lands and by the Grace of God and help of the people we shall unearth these prosperity to the greater good of our community and humanity in general,” he said.
Source: The Nation