By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Ogun State House of Assembly has tasked the State Ministry of Agriculture to immediately swing into action at ensuring the recovery of all lands in all farm settlements across the State encroached by land grabbers.
The Speaker, Rt. Olakunle Oluomo gave the charge during an interactive session between the State lawmakers and officials of the State Ministry of Agriculture as well as the Anchor Borrowers’ Committee held at the Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
Condemning the illegal occupation of the land set aside by government over the years for farming purposes, Oluomo tasked the ministry to identify the affected areas with a view to ensuring appropriate utilization of the farm operations to boost food production and aid security for the populace.
He also directed the ministry to improve on its activities and put in place a more holistic approach to re-engage all farm settlers through the renewal of agreement, thereby promoting efficient utilization of land resources and dignity in farming.
Earlier in their remarks, other lawmakers tasked the ministry to further intimate the Assembly with necessary details of their various intervention programmes with a view to scouting for more qualified applicants to benefit from the various agricultural and developmental programmes of the Prince Dapo Abiodun led-administration.
Responding, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina and Secretary, Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, Mrs. Taiwo Ayansanwo noted that over 52, 000 applicants registered for the scheme’s value chains in the State including cassava production, piggery, poultry and livestock amongst others, noting that 2, 497 beneficiaries were bei9ng engaged in the scheme, just as additional 2, 127 farmers would be added to improve on the 976 hectares of plantations in the State.
Applauding the Governor for approving the engagement of 100 extension agents in the 20 Local Government Areas in the State to boost the operations of the scheme, they stated that another batch would be reeled out to enhance food security, employment generation and industrialization through strategic partnership with foreign agencies and partners.