The Ekiti State Government on Monday said that it would soon revive its agricultural and rural development programmes having secured the World Bank’s support for the initiative.
He also said that the government would soon transmit a bill to re-enact the establishment of ” The Ekiti State College of Technical Agriculture,” to the State House of Assembly.
He said that the House would be expected to consider the bill and subsequently pass it into law.
Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti said this while addressing newsmen at his Isan Ekiti country home.
He said that part of the cardinal programmes of his government was reviving aagricultural sector and boosting food production in the state.
According to him, the World Bank assisted initiative called “Rural Access and Marketing Programme (RAMP),” will connect Ekiti rural communities to the urban centres and market places.
He added that it would also help in the reconstruction of farm settlements, many of which he said were built in the 1950s by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo-led administration but were not put to good use.
He explained that the initiative would help provide basic amenities at the farm settlements.
It would also encourage farmers in areas where they would be located to focus on their agricultural activities, he said.
”One of my assistants is going to be focusing on agric and farmsteads because in the course of my campaigns, I went round those farmsteads.
”My wife also toured the farmsteads extensively. There are things that are required by the people in those farmsteads that will make their work a lot better.
” These will include social amenities and social investment that will help in ensuring that we connect the farms to the markets.
”So we have another initiative that is being supported by the World Bank which is known as Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Programme (RAMP).
”This is meant to assist us to connect our rural communities to the urban centres and the market places.
“We hope that we can also reconstruct our farm settlements, and provide the necessary amenities there.
” We will also ensure that our people stay back in those places without missing the amenities they ought to have if they were to be in the cities,” he said.
Fayemi also spoke on the College of Technical and Commercial Agriculture which he established during his first term in office, but was scrapped by his predecessor-in-office, Mr Ayo Fayose.
Fayemi said that a bill for the re-establishment of the College would soon be sent to the State House of Assembly to enable the school begin operation legally.
The governor also disclosed that the ongoing construction works in the school would be completed before September when the school would formally open for academic activities.
He said the college was designed to train and equip young people who would be interested in agriculture value chain.
”Work has resumed there and a significant progress has been made on the road construction. I believe the builders are also on site.
”The idea is that the school will be ready for use by the beginning of a new session between September and October. Some six months of intense work should get it ready.
”The law that will support its existence and operation is going back to the Assembly for re-enactment because of what the last administration did to it.
“And once that is done, it will be legally covered to undertake the business of recruiting our young people who are interested in becoming middle-level managers and technical operators in commercial agriculture in Ekiti.”
Fayemi said that the citizens of the state believed that agriculture was important to them as an agrarian society.
He also also added that none of the young people in the state was interested in hoe and cutlass farming.
” We do not have any choice than to do everything humanly possible to make farming attractive to them.
”They want modernisation and the tools that will enable them participate in the entire value chain right from planting to processing and marketing.
”As a responsible government, we are prepared to give necessary support and incentives to them,” the governor said