Ogbeh, Aregbesola, Ooni make case for agriculture development
The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, yesterday said the Federal Government would embark on planting two million cashews yearly for four years and also set the stage for massive cocoa , plantain and banana plantations across the nation as part of the administration’s agriculture revolution.
He said the initiative is part of the agenda for diversifying the economy.The minister spoke on Tuesday during the flag-off of cashew planting season and expansion programme of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development at Ogudu Village, Ife-East Local Council Area of Osun State.
Ogbeh, who blamed the current challenges facing the nation on lack of proper plans for the country’s development, noted that the Federal Government was committed to restoring agriculture as a major income earner.
He lamented the state of the nation’s economy, assuring that the current government was ready to maximize the potentials in the non-oil sector.
“Our ministry had already identified agriculture as the largest employer of labour and this has prompted us to deploy necessary mechanism to boost agriculture by engaging youths in the process so as to reduce unemployment in the country,” he added.
In his speech, Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, urged all Nigerians to embrace farming on full or part time basis as an alternative to the over-dependence on oil to enhance quick recovery of the nation’s ailing economy.
According to him: “I am particularly happy at the efforts being made to promote the cultivation of cashew, which is noted for not just being a food crop but cash crop as well.”
Also speaking at the ocassion, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi disclosed that 2,000 hectares had been acquired and cultivated for cashew plantation, adding that more land would be provided for this purpose.