Osun Commences All-year-round Farming Through Solar-powered Irrigation
AS part of efforts to diversify its economy through agriculture, Osun State government has embarked on all-year-round farming through massive irrigation system.
The initiative was aimed at fulfilling one of the six-point integral action plans of the current administration, which is to banish hunger through massive agricultural production.
The farms with 40 acres of land capacity each across 24 Local Councils are being cultivated to encourage agriculture revolution.
According to government of Osun, the new farming system, an initiative of the volunteers of the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES), encompasses solarpowered irrigation to encourage all round farming across the seasons.
While inspecting one of the 40 acres of the already cultivated farm land at Ilesa, during the first harvest of the hybrid cucumber cultivated by the OYES cadets, Aregbesola said the decision is to make the state self-sustaining and self-sufficient in food production, as well as make Osun the food basket of western Nigeria.
He said the initiative aims at fighting irregular farming by encouraging modern agriculture practices through irrigation system.
“With this giant stride in agriculture, it is not a doubt that Osun can boast of all round cultivation of major commodities like sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and exotic vegetables. As we have this farm in Ilesa, we also have similar ones in 24 councils across the state. This is aimed at fulfilling our commitment at banishing hunger, poverty and unemployment, as the scheme wouldn’t only encourage irrigation-farming system, but also build confidence in the youths towards agriculture.
“As we all know, food and shelter are too essential for the survival of humanity and no serious government will trivialize the need to encourage agriculture, particularly at a time when the value of crude oil is progressively sliding into zero. It has been brought into public knowledge that in the next 20 years, it will be practically impossible to import food, not because there won’t be money to do so, but there won’t be food to import. So, to prevent this unforeseen circumstantial uncertainty, then it is time to go into massive food production capable of making us self-sufficient, and as well encouraging surplus for export, as we have it now,” he said.
Earlier in his remarks, the OYES Commandant, Colonel Eni’ibukun Oyewole (rtd), commended Aregbesola for being aggressive at revamp- ing the agriculture sector in the state.
Oyewole said government has democratised governance as evident in the success recorded through series of his life-changing schemes, in which OYES is pivotal.
In their separate remarks, the Commissioner for Empowerment and Youth Engagement, Mrs Folake Adegboyega, Chairman OYES Management Committee, Barrister Femi Faturoti, and the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Oyedele Durodoluwa, commended Aregbesola for taking the lead among his peers in the sector.