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By Kazeem Awojoodu, Ibadan

Oyo state government has trained it’s local government desk officers and facilitators on ways to boost agricultural sector.

Naijanewshub.com.ng reports that Oyo State Government in its efforts to ameliorate the suffering of small scale farmers that were affected by the effect of the covid-19 pandemic, on Friday completed 2 Day Orientation and Training for its desk and facilitators officers across the thirty three local government areas of the state.

Oyo state government with the support of the World Bank trained no fewer than 66 personnel comprising the Desk and Facilitators officials across all it’s local government areas with the aim to scale up the intervention that will help the farmers to increase food production in the state.

Charging the trainees at the commencement of the program that was held at the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) Headquaters Saki, the Director General of OYSADA, who also doubles as the Executive Adviser to Governor Makinde on Agribusiness, Dr. Debo Akande stressed that the beneficiaries need to understand that they are privileged to have been selected for the program.

Akande in his opening remarks via zoom noted that the Nigeria Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (N-CARES) programmes is an Oyo State Government/World Bank assisted project with the objective to enhance food supply chain.

Akande said, ” N-CARES is expected to support the farmers that were attacked by the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, the young farmers that are into small scale farming but deeply involved in the agricultural and agribusiness value chain, while our desk and facilitators that are here will be a soldier in supporting all these farmers and young people in all the 33 local government areas of the state.

He further said, ” one of the reasons why many of you were selected as facilitators to be part of this agricultural scheme is because you are young, vibrant and dynamic, few of you I’m aware completed a training at Nasarawa state under the state Youth Employment Agribusiness Project (YEAP) initiative, and I’m also aware that only few of you like 20 out of over 3,000 that attended the training were selected for this program, this means that you are ICT guaranteed and you must adopt the use of technology a lot in driving this project at hand.

“Don’t allow people to tell you that this is not how we used to do it during the days of FADAMA, or OYSADEP, this is not a FADAMA nor OYSADEP program, we are looking for new technology, new ideas, new innovations, we cannot continue to do things in same way and expect different result, there must be new approaches to deliver things for the the development of our dear state, and we are counting on you people to provide all these platforms and knowledge on farm approaches.”

“I want you to see this as a privilege and an opportunity to grow yourselves, you will be paid for this by the state government and to whom much is given, much is expected, accountability is key and very essential on this assignment given to you, be accountable to the state government, to the World Bank, to the people of Oyo State, and I want you to see this as an opportunity to contribute your own quota to the development of the state. Akande said.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Result Area 2 Project Coordinator in the state, Mr. Abimbola Bamgbola said, “N-Cares programmes is designed to restore the livelihood of the poor and vulnerable, maintaining food security and facilitating recovery of Moses which are some of the key objectives set out in the government’s economic sustainable plan to respond to the current economic crisis in Nigeria.

He noted that the orientation and training of the facilitators and desk officers in the state is to acquaint them on the implementation procedures and guidelines for the project. He however commend the state Governor Engr. Seyi Makinde for commencement of the intervention programmes for the affected  farmers in the state even before the Federal government intervention project.

He said, “I’m using this medium to acknowledge the administration of Engr. Seyi Makinde who before the intervention of Federal Government has been supporting the small holders farmers with agricultural inputs as palliatives to cushion the effect of covid-19 since year 2020 under the able leadership of his Executive Adviser, Dr. Debo Akande.”

In their separate remarks,  participants at the event, Mr. Ogunyanju Akeem Babatunde, a desk officers from Atiba Local Government and Moses Odigie a Facilitator from Ibarapa East Local Government, and Miss Adenike Ariwoola also a desk officer from Ibadan North East, commended the state government for organizing such training, they maintained that the program is a very laudable one, and also promised to make good use of the training to the development of the state.

Cross Section of Participants at the training in Saki
Mr. Bamigbola addressing the participants at the OYSADA Headquaters Saki

Dr. Debo Akande addressing participants via zoom

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