Osun State government has said that the recent sponsorship of some youths to Germany by the state to acquire modern farming techniques is basically part of its efforts to alleviate poverty, reduce unemployment and revamp the agricultural sector in the state.
The Coordinating Director, Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Youth Engagement in Osun state, Dr. Olubukola Aluko, gave a hint on the training programme while having a chat with reporters in Osogbo on Wednesday.
Dr. Aluko, said the engagement of the youth in farming would not only reduce unemployment rate but position the state for more revenue generation.
“The government would set up an agency to handle land allocation for farming in the state. The step became necessary to resolve challenges facing young farmers,” he stated.
Key To Economic Survival
The agriculture expert, who maintained that the Osun government was keen on improving the economy of the state by investing greatly in agriculture, noted that agriculture was viewed as the key to economic survival of a state or nation.
“As a government, we have discovered that the best way to get youths into farming is to give them adequate training in modern farming. To achieve this, the government has also taken the initiative to allocate land to the trained young farmers. All these moves are aimed at re-positioning the state for mass food production,” he told reporters.
He further said that the government had invited investors to fund the agricultural programme for the youths who are leaving the training schools.
“Osun Government under the leadership of Mr Rauf Aregbesola is determined to revamp the agricultural sector and that is what prompted the sponsorship of some youths to Germany to learn modern farming techniques.
“By the time they put all what they had learnt in Germany to practice, it would definitely make Osun be in the forefront of agricultural production in the country,” he stated.
The official of the Ministry of Agriculture attributed the problem facing the sector to lack of adequate resources, saying the state government had concluded plans to reposition agriculture to make it productive and result oriented.
“One major challenge we are currently facing is land allocation to these farmers.
“However, efforts are in top gear to address it. The state would soon set up an agency to handle land allocation to these young r farming in the state,” he explained.
Aluko commended the state Governor on the intervention programmes introduced in the state to re-energise and encourage youths to return to the land for farming.
He said various intervention programmes of the government in the agriculture sector had been yielding positive results over the years.
The Coordinating Director then hinted that the agency was also making moves to ensure farm settlement in the state become more functional, effective and productive.
“With resolution of the problems that are often attached to land acquisition, the settlement has been expanded to meet the needs of the residents,” he pointed out.
Dr. Aluko, therefore, called on farmers in the state to take advantage of the Dry Season Farming Programme put together by the government to enhance their agricultural production for the overall benefit of the people of the state.