By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Osun State Government said it is planning to diversify its economy into agriculture and mining as part of its post COVID-19 economic revival strategies.
To this end, the State Executive Council has agreed to empower 5764 Farmers to grow cassava, cotton and engage in fish farming, with the help of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The State Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, disclosed this in a statement issued after the fifth virtual State Executive Council meeting, held on Monday.
According to her, twelve Local Government Areas have also earmarked about 2000 hectares of agricultural land in addition to the existing Farm Settlements across the State.
Speaking on the State’s immediate agricultural intervention, Egbemode said: “On Thursday, the State will be flagging off its planting season. It has already moved farming equipment into its Ila Farm Settlement.
“At the launching, the State Government will be distributing improved seedlings, pesticides and herbicides, knapsack sprayers, among other things, to improve yields of farmers in the state. The State Government will also train 1000 farmers in specialized farming”, she added.
Speaking on the state of mining in the State, Egbemode said that the Gold Buying Centre in Osu is ready, and that the state is ready to maximize the economic benefit of the Centre.
She quoted Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, as saying: “Mining is the new frontier of the economy of Osun. The State Government is therefore planning to maximize the sector and reap maximum benefit from it”.
Reacting to the activities of illegal miners in the State, she said that the State Government was not interested in witch-hunting anyone, rather but will continue to comb its mining sites to rid them of illegal miners, thereby regulate mining activities within the State.
“If we do not sanitize the sector and take out illegal miners, we may end up like other countries who are now dealing with the negative consequences and concepts of illegal trade of natural resources ‘like blood diamonds.
“We are determined to weed out illegal and inimical elements, and out to stop negative implications such as environmental degradation in the State.”
In another development, the State Government has approved the appointment of two new traditional rulers in the State.
They are Prince Taofeek Abiodun Nafiu who has been approved for appointment as Olu of Akinleye in Iwo Local Government Area, while Chief James Bolarinwa Oladipupo who was approved for appointment as Alayegun of Ode Omu in Ayedaade Local Government Area