Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has explained why he is sending some youths to Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, for advanced training in agriculture and food production.
He said after the training, the youths would help the state move from subsistence to mechanised farming.
Aregbesola spoke yesterday in Osogbo, the state capital, at a send-off ceremony for the youths.
He said his administration was determined to provide enough food for local consumption and exportation.
The governor said the administration had been providing infrastructure and support for farmers, such as improved seedlings, fertilizer, fumigants and cleared farmlands.
He said the government was liaising with reputable local and international partners, such as the Institute for Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, for technical assistance.
Aregbesola said: “Our efforts are geared towards taking farming from the subsistence level to the modern/commercial level, because that is the level at which farming is really worth it as a profession.
“To realize this goal, it is needful to add value to our agricultural practice by applying advanced knowledge in science and technology. We have adopted a multi-pronged approach to achieving this objective.
“On one hand, we are providing the necessary infrastructure and supporting our farmers with input. This requires supplying them with input, such as improved seedlings, fertilizers and fumigants, among others; giving them hundreds of thousands of hectares of already prepared farmlands; reviving old farm settlements that were the hub of agricultural miracles in the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s era; opening up rural areas through aggressive road construction and rehabilitation to facilitate easy accessibility and movement of goods from farms to markets; and the linking of farm produce from Osun to the huge market in Lagos via the Lagos-Osun Rail Logistics System.”
Mr. Olumide Ojo, who spoke for the trainees, thanked the governor for giving them such a privilege and pledged not to disappoint the state.
The trainees will undergo a four-week course on modern agriculture and food crop production techniques at an agricultural training school in Germany.
After this, the trainees would be attached to 11 large-scale co-operative farmers in Saxony-Anhalt for eight weeks.