By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Osun State Government has unveiled its Food Support Scheme, christened Osun Food Support Scheme.
The scheme according to the government runs from March this year till November next year and will be targeting 30, 000 poor and the vulnerable citizens across the State in the first instance.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ismail Omipidan, who disclosed this said it was part of the decisions reached at the end of the State Executive Council meeting held on Monday.
He said for effective administration, the scheme will target persons with special needs and disabilities in all LGAs; the poor and the vulnerable in churches will be reached through the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN; the needy and the poor in the Muslim community will be reached through Osun Muslim Community; the vulnerable among artisans through their assoociations; the needy among other ethnic groups in the State through their leaderships; the traditional worshipers through their association and traders through Iyalojas and Babalojas.
Omipidan further revealed that in line with Governor Gboyega Oyetola’s policy of promoting small, micro and medium businesses in the State to boost local economy, all food items will be sourced locally, adding that the programme will commence this March.
In a related development, and in fulfilment of the promise made by the Governor to effectively and productively engage the youth in Agriculture, the State Executive Council has also approved the allocation of farm lands to youths genuinely interested in Agriculture.
“Recall that while Mr. Governor was presenting this year’s budget before the House of Assembly last year, he revealed that about N1.5 billion was set aside to engage our youths in Agriculture, Culture and Tourism, Mining and Commerce. It is in fulfilment of that promise that the State, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, will be clearing 10, 000 acres of land. Of this number, 1000 have been successfully cleared.
“It will interest you to know that in the last 10 years, this is the first time the State will be having access to such cleared farm lands. We have broken a jinx of over 10 years by clearing 1000 acres of farm lands. We intend to allocate large chunk of it to our youths who are genuinely interested in farming. We shall be embarking on enlightenment campaigns soon to get interested ones enlisted,” Omipidan added.