In its bid to ensure food security and enhance agricultural produce technologically, Odua Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ODUACCIMA), in collaboration with other partners such as Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, DFID, Business Innovation Facility and Transwealth have on launched a new agricultural initiative tagged “Agbetuntun”.
This initiative is target at assisting no fewer than 1 million farmers in south western geo-political zone in five years commencing the programme with 20, 000 mostly youths.
Speaking during a press conference at the launch of Agbetuntun held at International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, President, ODUACCIMA, Chief Kola Akosile declared that the program which will have about 20,000 farmers as its pioneer is tailored towatds ensuring competition among farmers through the use of new technology, ideas and initiatives.
Akosile who said the program is targeting 1 million farmers in the traditional south west states of Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti and Lagos in the next five years also remarked that farmers in Kwara and Edo will also be involved in the program aimed to change the narrative story of unemployment in the country.
According to him, “Right now we are putting the the structure on the ground, we have UI, OAU, Cocoa House build with Cocoa money during the analogue days.
“We are covering traditional south west states and Kwara and Edo in the next five years we are looking at 1 million farmers. We want to ensure agricultural competition, food security, digital youth. We are bringing farmers, cattle breeders, women and other stakeholders.
“We want to use technology, innovations to change the narrative story of agric business in south west. We are staring with 20,000 farmers. This is being championed by ODUACCIMA, it is the regional chamber of commerce in the south west. It is private sector driving. The existing farmers will also be part of it. The selection is based on state chamber of commerce and industry. Like I said it is going to be technology driven. We are starting with maize.
Also speaking, the President of South West farmers, Chief Segun Desaolu affirmed that the initiative was out in place so as to build legacies for the teeming and incoming generations.
According to him, “We don’t want our youths to be riding Okadas, HND, BSc holders riding Okadas, that is not the legacy of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He created farm settlements. Our youths are suffering and we have potentials to engage them.