…as Oyo State engages 1,000 youth farmers
The Oyo State Pacesetter Farm settlement, which was modeled after the popular Songhai Farm in Port Novo, has been described as a legacy that would last many administrations after the exit of the incumbent.
The representative of the Songhai Farm, Port Novo, the Republic of Benin, Mr. Salaman Setonji stated this on Thursday during the inauguration of the Oyo State Government Pacesetter Farm held at Aawe, Afijio Local Government.
Setonji, while appreciating the interest of the State Governor, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi in bringing succor to the people of Oyo State through agriculture, promised that his organization would support the state government in achieving the desired food security through integrated organic farming saying, “it is a thing of pride that the governor has been relentless in replicating the Songhai Integrated Organic Farming system in Oyo State and thereby making the people experience agriculture like they never had.
He assured that the organic farm would provide food security, massive youth employment and stall environmental degradation, noting that the farming process would entail Primary, Secondary and Tertiary production stages, which included planting of cash crops and grains.
Setonji said the end products of some of the crops would serve the poultry section as feeds while the poultry droppings would feed the fish explaining that the tertiary stage of the process entailed processing of the waste products for Biogas which would be used for generation of electricity.
According to him, “we have gone round to study the soil texture and it is to my joy that the soil here is the best. We have the Master Plan for the perusal of the governor and you can see the ways the farm will be planned. The farm has the primary, secondary and tertiary stages, planting of cash and grains which will feed the livestock while the waste or droppings from the livestock will be used for energy and electricity production which is biogas.”
In his address, Governor Abiola Ajimobi opined that God has blessed the State with human and natural resources which needed to be deployed to generate high food security through agriculture.
He posited that for the State’s economy to be at par with that of other States, organic farming should be encouraged, noting that the Pacesetter organic farming model would be replicated in other parts of the State.
The Governor said “today, we have seen that the peace and socio-economic development we put in place at our arrival in 2011 will be sustained with abundant food through this system and it is therefore pertinent for our youths to see this project as their own and embrace it for the dream of a greater Oyo State to be actualized.
“We are pleased to introduce the integrated organic farming which is focused on employment generation, employment value and change innovation. The scheme is set to employ over 2million youths out of which 1,000 youth farmers have been engaged for the Aawe project and they will be allocated farmland today. It will also provide the modern technology to sustain the project,” Sen. Ajimobi explained.