Oyo State government on Friday reassured smallholder farmers of improved support and integration into the development plan of the state, in accordance with the four-point agenda of Governor Seyi Makinde administration.
This, the government said, would spur productivity and enhance the quality of food consumed by the people in the state.
This assurance was given by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Adeniyi Adebisi, while declaring open a four-day training for Agric Extension Workers, organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, at the OYSADEP office, Apata, Ibadan.
Adebisi noted that the training is one of the government’s ways of addressing the declining number and low skill of small scale farmers, which he said had hampered the adoption of best practices and new innovations, resulting in low productivity and rejection of Nigerian products abroad.
He promised the infusion of modern farming technology, financial assistance along with training and retraining of Oyo State farmers to engender quality assurance in the agricultural value chains.
Speaking further, he commended the federal government for relentlessly improving and building the capacity of farmers across the 36 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory, and for donating three motorcycles to Oyo State for agricultural extension delivery.
He said the development would help smallholder farmers in the state overcome the teething challenges associated with farming, thereby alleviating poverty and unemployment, while also boosting food sufficiency.
In his remarks, the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Mahmoud Abubakar, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaja Balikis Abdulateef, hinted that one of the key recommendations was to build the capacity of youths and existing practitioners in Agric Extension delivery system and equipping them with best global practices and tools to enable them to deliver efficiently.
The ceremony also had in attendance other management staff of the ministry, farmers, participants from the 33 local governments of Oyo State, among others.