Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, has called on youths in the state to develop an interest in farming, as his government is poised to revive the sector to actualise its economic diversification.

Oyetola made the call while addressing journalists during the 11th flagging-off of the monthly Food Support Scheme at the open field of the Local Government Service Commission, Government Secretariat in Osogbo.

Oyetola, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prince Wole Oyebamiji, at the event, said the distribution of Garri has helped to complement the economy value chain projected by the government.

According to him “Our administration is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. As such, the governor has great interest in the growth of the economy of the state.

“If we are encouraging young men and women to go into farming, we as a government has a responsibility to ensure that they have patronage, and to ensure that they have support so that going back to farm will be meaningful because it is not easy to encourage youths to go back to farm without the necessary support.

“The production of garri being produced locally by our people is an attestation to the fact that there is wealth in farming. This will be an encouragement to boost farming, grow our economy and provide employment opportunities for our people.

“We are proud to do it, and we are not regretting it. This will not in any way relegate other staple foods that we have adopted for distribution. We believe we should encourage local productions too.”

In his remarks, the Commissioner for Special Duties and Regional Integration, Olalekan Badmus, said the administration of Governor Oyetola would continue to sustain the scheme.

Badmus, who assured the people that the administration was committed to reactivating local productions, called on the young ones to take maximum advantage of the opportunity provided to develop themselves individually and collectively.

He said: “You will agree with me that this is a noble step to ensuring that local content is actually achieved. This has been able to allow the Garri farmers (the cassava growers and Garri processors) to benefit in one way or another.

“To arrive at this noble gesture, we are able to identify young entrepreneurs who are into various staple foods production. In the course of meeting one of the entrepreneurs, it was actually discovered that he deliberately went to his town to look for what he could be doing to contribute to the development of his community where he later came up with the production of ‘Garri Ode-Omu.’ This is worthy of emulation.”

Speaking on how the government was able to assemble the entrepreneurs within the state to match up with the quantity of Garri required, Badmus said: “I went to about 10 towns in the state, and I was very impressed with the quantity of Garri that I saw.

“The cassava farmers, Garri processors and others, who are involved in the production, were very happy and have a sense of belonging.

“I can assure our people that we have enough quantity to distribute for this edition. We are not resting on our oars. We will still need to go back to see how we can incorporate other sustainable commodities into the scheme. We will continue to be innovative.”

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