The Oyo State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Honourable Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, weekend began an agriculture empowerment programme for farmers in the 33 Local Government Areas of the State.
The empowerment programme kicked off with over 100 farmers from six local governments areas of Ibadan North-East namely: Lagelu, Egbeda, Oluyole, Ona Ara, Akinyele and Ido.
Akinjide, who addressed a stakeholders’ forum of the farmers from the 33 local government areas at Ile Aperin in Oyo State, explained that the empowerment programme was for all farmers and not based on party inclination.
The minister, in a statement issued by her Special Assistant on Media & Publicity, Oluyinka Akintunde, noted that no nation could survive without the farmers and development of agricultural sector.
She said, “The farmers are the people that can support the economy and they need to be empowered also. The nation can’t depend on oil and gas sector only. The government is therefore diversifying to other sectors of the economy including agriculture and rural development.
“The empowerment programme will support farmers in Oyo State through capacity building in modern farming techniques and agric-businesses to address the issues of poverty and unemployment, thereby boosting agricultural production and improving the farmers’ income and quality of life.”
Under the empowerment scheme, Oyo State farmers are to be supported with tractors, seedlings and fertilisers as well as extension workers to supervise their various stages of production.
Akinjide further stated that the Oyo State PDP would partner with microfinance banks to provide low-cost funding for the farmers.
The Chairman of Oyo State PDP, Hon. Kunmi Mustapha, who commended the minister for supporting the party’s empowerment programme, reiterated that the programme was for all farmers and not based on party membership.
“We are starting with six local government areas of Ibadan North-East and would be extended to other local governments. The programme is for the 33 local governments.
“We have often repeated it that we have structures in Oyo State PDP to benefit the people. We need to support our farmers because they are the people that will provide food security for the country,” Mustapha noted.
The FCT minister of state had two months ago distributed poverty alleviation materials valued at over N10 million to members of the Oyo State PDP. Among the poverty alleviation materials were tractors, farm implements, refrigerators, water pumps and deep freezers.