Ekiti to address food shortage through agric revolution, says Gov Oyebanji

Ekiti to address food shortage through agric revolution, says Gov Oyebanji

…as Gov flags off distribution of 20,000 bags of rice, 10,000 bags of maize as palliatives to residents

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji has assured the people of the state that his administration is committing all its resources to bringing improvement to the lives of the citizens. This, he said, has left no room for frivolities.

The Governor said he will stop at nothing to ensure that he alleviates poverty through agriculture revolution aimed at addressing food shortage in the state.

The Governor stated these while flagging off the fifth phase of palliative distribution to the 177 wards of the state as well as stakeholders within the state in the bid to reduce the hardship being faced by citizens as a result of current economic situation in the country .

No fewer than 20,000 bags of rice and 10,000 bags of maize were distributed to groups, associations and communities during the flag off event at the Osuntokun pavilion of the Government House, Ado Ekiti.

Addressing the people at the event, Governor Oyebanji announced that the food being distributed was in collaboration with the Federal Government, adding that his administration would continue to support local farmers through agric extension programmes and provision of farm inputs and implements to boost agricultural production that would enhance food security in the state.

“What we are doing now is a temporary measure, we are doing this in conjunction with the Federal Government, which gave us some bags while we added more to make up 20,000 bags. I don’t want to create the impression that this is my show, Mr president is also involved. So, we expressed our appreciation to the president.

“I am not happy that we are doing this for the fifth time, this is good, but by next year, our plan for the state is to produce sufficient food for Ekiti markets which we believe would bring down prices of food items.”

While calling on youths and other residents of the state to development interest in agriculture, Governor Oyebanji revealed that his government has prepared a total of 2,000 hectares of land to be allocated to interested Ekiti farmers in addition to provision of farm inputs, fertilizer and extension services. He added further that government will ensure the purchase of the output of their farms.

“I must commend the Commissioner for Agriculture for what he is doing in Ekiti state, the impact of what he is doing in the state will be felt in the next two years. By Saturday, we will be in Oke Ako as we are partnering with YSJ to ensure that we revolutionize the agriculture sector. As at today, we have a total of 2000 hectares of cultivated land. That is why we formed agro-rangers that will protect the farms from cattle invasion.

“Its only when we have food security, that we can combat food deflation, no amount of food distribution can bring down price of food stuff except, we produce our own food. I appeal to all of you, whoever is interested in agric, there is money to be made in agric now. This is because you will not cultivate the land by yourself, we will do that, gives you fertilizer, give you herbicide, give you inputs and we are going to purchase your inputs”, the Governor stated.

In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, who is also the Chairman Palliatives Distribution Committee, Mr. Ebenezer Boluwade, thanked the Governor for all his effort at ensuring that every house in the state has a food on their table.

Boluwade explained that 50 bags of rice will be distributed to each of the 177 wards, adding that 10,000 bags of maize would also be given to livestock farmers to boost livestock production in the state..

Acknowledging the economic hardship faced by the populace, The Commissioner explained that the Governor is working very hard on both the short-term relief measures such as distribution of palliative and various long-term agricultural development measures.

He said government is improving agricultural sector to enhance the overall quality of life of the citizens with an assurance that Ekiti State would experience food sufficiency within the next one year.

In their separate goodwill messages, the Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Chairman, Interparty Advisory Council (IPAC), Mr Daramola Owoola, representative of the Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, Ekiti state, Alhaji Bakare and his Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) counterpart, Pastor Joseph Olubusoye commended Governor Oyebanji for his various efforts at reposition the state and reduce poverty in the land.

They described the action of the governor to ensure food security as unprecedented in the anal of the state, calling on him to continue with the good work as the entire state in behind him.

Other top government functionaries at the flag off were the Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye; Secretary to the State Government, Dr Habibat Adubiaro; Head of Service, Engr. Sunday Komolafe; members of the state executive council; local government chairmen among other dignitaries.

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