Akeredolu urges youth, retirees to embrace farming

Akeredolu urges youth, retirees to embrace farming

Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has called on youths, veterans, retired senior civil servants and businessmen to engage in agriculture to improve the country’s economy.

Akeredolu gave the advice at Ondo State Cocoa Day during the 3rd Ondo State Agricultural Show and Food Fair held in Akure on Thursday.

The program was organized by the Ondo State Agricultural Products Association (OSACA) with the theme, “Agricultural Products: A Fundamental Instrument for Economic and Industrial Revolution.”

The governor, who was represented by the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr. Olayat Aribo, urged the retirees to practice farming and not leave it in the hands of tenant farmers.

According to him, there is a need to prevent the use of harmful pesticides in order to produce high-quality crops that are acceptable to the international community.

“I would like to call on all stakeholders in the agricultural subsector, especially farmers and their organizations, to strive to increase production in order to supply optimal production to the agribusiness industry.

“The state government shall continue to ensure and enforce quality control of agricultural products in Ondo State to ensure that they are acceptable in the international market.”

“Our educated youths and retirees can work with OSACA to form a strong team for farmers in Ondo State.

“If they appear at any forum in Abuja, they will be able to confidently speak to garner federal support for Ondo State,” he said.

Earlier, Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN) National Chairman, Gbemitan Abolarinwa, called on farmers to embrace smart farming practices and irrigation systems instead of the age-old rain-fed farming.

Mr. Abolarinwa, who represented Mr. Ademola Agbada, said the issue of diversifying Nigeria’s economy from oil to agriculture plays an important role in President Bola Tinubu’s economic policies.

He therefore called on the government to focus on financing the upstream (production) sectors of the cocoa value chain, which he said would lead to improved production and sustainability.

“The only panacea for declining foreign exchange is to increase agricultural production, increase value addition and promote exports.

“This can only be achieved through collaborative synergy between all levels of government and key stakeholders,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Ondo State Cocoa Council, Dr. Olusegun Awolmate, appreciated the role of the state government in cocoa production, saying the council would continue to promote and develop climate-smart cocoa production.

Source: guardian.ng

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