ABEOKUTA – The need to boost food security, job creation and industrialisation, through an established agricultural agenda, to the reviving of Ogun State economy has been restated.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina who made this known while receiving Award of Excellence, presented to him by delegates from Ogun State Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (OGUNCIMA), in his office, emphasised government’s position to support the private sector, towards a solid footing in the agricultural value-chain.
Odedina, according to the Press Officer Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Doyinsola Ajisebutu, expressed gratitude for the award, describing the 10th Gateway International Trade Fair recently organised, as a good promoter of the agric programmes of the present administration.
“This partnership with OGUNCIMA, is one that works and the relationship is valued, because the programmes you have, promotes our agenda in agric and we are ready to give necessary support and tools to entrepreneurs who are interested in agriculture”, he said.
Earlier, the President of OGUNCIMA, Alhaji Wasiu Olaleye, lauded the efforts of the State government on the success recorded in the 10th Gateway International Trade Fair, which witnessed by traders from Niger Republic and Cameroon with tremendous returns.
Olaleye appealed to government to facilitate programmes that would foster cross-border trade, which he noted would boost job creation for youths in the State, disclosing that a Fish Fair on fishery and aquaculture has been slated to hold later in the year.
Meanwhile, the State Ministry of Agriculture has promised to allocate 45 hectares of cassava farmland out of 1,000 hectares being cleared in Apojula, Odeda Local Government Area, for students of tertiary institutions across the State.
Commissioner for Agriculture Dr. Adeola Odedina unveiled the plan, while hosting representatives of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, noting that leadership qualities were imbibed at youthful age, hence the need for youth empowerment.
“Agricultural agenda in Ogun State centers around youths and you can practice agriculture even while at school. If you do not learn entrepreneurship and leadership at this level, you cannot lead the nation. Your colleagues need you as their voice, the larger society also needs you and you must be accountable to them, so, I am encouraging you to embrace agriculture, we are committing the future to you”, he said.
Responding on behalf of the students, the Chairman of NANS in the State, Comrade Damola Simeon, expressed delight at the gesture accorded them, saying “this is a sign of hope for Nigerian students, when youths are meaningfully engaged, crime level will reduce to the barest minimum. This is the right time to rejuvenate agriculture”.