The Federal government through its Ministry of Agriculture has concluded arrangements to clear about 400 hectares of farmlands at Iyemero Ekiti axis for the State’s agricultural processing zone as part of its intervention programme.
Olufemi Daramola, the state coordinator of FMARD, disclosed this at a meeting with the commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Olabode Adetoyi in Ado Ekiti recently.
The state coordinator said that federal government was not unmindful of the huge capital involved in land clearing and preparation activities, which has been responsible for high cost of agricultural production, saying further that the 400 hectares of land would be cleared and prepared to the point of planting before handing over to the state government for Allocation to end users.
Daramola who hinted that the process for the contract award of the project were on going, also revealed that another intervention programme to combat environmental degradation has also been proposed in the zone on a 15 hectares piece of land.
Speaking elaborately on the environmental degradation programme tagged ‘Agro-forestry and Regenerative Agriculture of the FMARD, the project
Oladipo Aina, a consultant, who is the former vice- chancellor of Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti and a Professor said that the project was aimed at protecting the ecosystem and to control the depletion of the aerospace challenges caused by land clearing and tree felling for agricultural activities in the state.
Aina explained further that the 15 hectares agro-forestry project is a pilot and demonstration project designed to plant special species of shrubs that could be easily adopted by farmers across the state.
The university don said that the programme would involve innovative technology that could be assimilated by farmers through training and nursing of seedlings that would help them develop their private individual forest.
He observed that the rate through which forests are giving ways to commercial Agriculture, industrial and residential structures was devastating, which would lead to serious ecological problems in the near future if not properly addressed by tree planting.
Aina called on the government of Ekiti state to cooperate with the FMARD in order to achieve forestry regeneration.
Responding, Olabode Adetoyi, commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, commended FMARD for the 2 projects earmarked for the state.
Adetoyi who remarked that the state has expended about 3 billion naira on land clearing for agricultural purposes in the last 2 years, added that the intervention of the Federal government in the process would be a great relief as it will give room for more farmers to participate in the agricultural revolution of Kayode Fayemi’s administration.
The commissioner stressed the importance of Agro-forestry and Regenerative Agriculture as panacea to ecosystem depletion and forest degeneration, and gave the assurance that the state would key in to the two intervention programmes.
He said that the ministry would continue to sensitize the youths to see Agriculture as a lucrative pursuit that should be embraced by all, not minding their background.
According to him, the state should be able to produce for its internal consumption and export the excesses through the cargo airport under construction in the state capital, saying that Ekiti state must get it right this time by moving away from agrarian economy to agro-industrial economy that would be self-dependent in agricultural production.
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