By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
Kwara State Government on Wednesday launched a pilot scheme of 500-hectare Farm Kwara in Ifelodun local government.
The move is to create farming communities that nurture future agripreneurs, improve the productivity of smallholder farmers, and boost food security in the state.
Domiciled in the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Nongovernmental Affairs and Team Lead of the National Young Farmers Programme, Toyosi Thomas, the Farm Kwara initiative will soon begin the process of accessing 500 hectares of land in other local government areas to establish farm estates and allocate up to five hectares each to 100 young farmers.
The initiative, an offshoot of the recently launched Kwara State Agricultural Transformation Plan, is being facilitated by the government which would help young farmers to get land and financial facilities which would all be paid back under a win-win arrangement.
Speaking at the launch of Farm Kwara in Adanla community of Ifelodun local government, Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi said at least half of the youth beneficiaries would be women and that participants will be provided with inputs, mechanisation and technical support to ensure sustainability in partnership with private sector partners.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary Kwara State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Mariam Nurudeen Muhammad, the Deputy Governor said the scheme formed another efforts by the state government to ensure food security in the state.
He also said the scheme is replacing the age old subsistence farming to “a productively smart and innovative enterprise that is not only eco-friendly but sustainable.”
Technical Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture AbdulQowiy Olododo said the programme is one of the initiatives of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s administration to ensure that youths are gainfully employed.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Community Intervention Kayode Oyin-Zubair said the government is supporting the development of the state through bottom-up approach to ensure even development and reduce rural-urban drift.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Job Creation Aliyu Alhassan explained that Farm Kwara, which is designed to nurture agripreneurs, would be commercially-driven
He said the state government has already cleared the 500 hectares of land for the benefitting farmers in Adanla, saying the same will be replicated across the 16 local government areas of the state.