Aiyedatiwa flags off distribution of food commodities

By Precious Oluwole

In a bid to drive down the prices of produce in the market, Ondo State Governor, Hon. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, on Monday flagged off the distribution of food commodities.

The flag off ceremony took place at the Agric warehouse, Akure, the State capital.

According to the Governor, the flag-off is just a symbolic event, with the distribution of 40 trailers of maize to poultry, fish and piggery farmers. This is to reduce the prices of eggs, chicken and other related produce in the market.

Governor Aiyedatiwa stressed that the distribution of many more food commodities will be rolled out immediately after. He added that the recently established Committee on Agriculture and Food Security will also soon be coming up with other action plans, to bring succour to the people of the Sunshine State in the days ahead.

“It is not an overstatement to say that the task of nation building is a collective responsibility and government cannot do it alone. All hands must, therefore, be on deck to take us to our el-dorado, most especially farmers in our State, as they say, because if there are no farmers, there will be no nation.

“Food security, as we are all aware, is not merely about having enough food to eat but ensuring that all individuals have access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food at all times. Unfortunately, our people still struggle with hunger and malnutrition. This is unacceptable in a country endowed with fertile land and abundant natural resources. The effects of painful but necessary subsidy removal on petrol had compounded the food security situation in Ondo State and indeed Nigeria. Rising inflation on food items and others have made life somewhat unbearable to the people. As a government, we must check this ugly trend and make sure that food is not just available, but affordable to the generality of the populace.

“In order to tackle this hydra challenge of food security, we must prioritise sustainable agricultural practices that enhance productivity, increase resilience to climate change and promote inclusiveness. This includes investing in modern farming techniques, providing farmers with access to quality seeds, fertilizers, agricultural equipment, construction of access roads to farms and improving market infrastructure to facilitate the efficient movement of agricultural produce”.

“We must also address the underlying causes of food shortage such as insecurity, poverty, inadequate infrastructure and lack of skilled manpower. Empowering smallholder farmers, especially women and youths through training, capacity building and access to credit are all essential for achieving lasting food security in the State.

“It is incontrovertible fact that agriculture holds the ace for the future greatness of Ondo State. Our State is undoubtedly doing much in the field of agriculture and agribusiness. It is on record today that Ondo State supplies 75% of tomatoes being consumed in one of the markets in Lagos State. This achievement must be sustained with intensive and increased production drive for tomatoes and other farm produce of comparative advantage to us in Ondo State.

Governor Aiyedatiwa appreciated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR has approved distribution of grains and other commodities, which will soon arrive the State. “While taking steps to make food and other essential commodities available to our people, I want to use this opportunity to appeal to our farmers, off-takers and traders to eschew from shylock tendencies. Exploiting fellow human beings by hiking prices is an abnormity that God Almighty frowns upon. We should all know that “what goes around, comes around”.

He highlighted his administration’s achievements, including; Red Gold Project, which is a programme initiated to promote oil palm production in the State. The installation of sixteen green houses at Isuada for all-year-round vegetable production. Establishment of a modern Cattle Feed Lot System as a panacea to farmers’/herders’ clashes. Establishment of Cattle Village at Emure Ile, among others.

Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Rotimi Wemimo Akinsola, Chairman, Committee on Agriculture and Food Security, expressed gratitude to the governor for establishing the committee, emphasizing the governor’s commitment to the welfare of the people.

He stated that the committee is dedicated to realizing the governor’s agricultural initiatives and encouraged farmers who have received agricultural commodities to utilize them effectively, thereby contributing to lower prices during harvest time.

Akinsola emphasized the administration’s focus on agriculture and called on the community to wholeheartedly support the governor’s efforts.

He envisioned the state becoming a leading agricultural hub due to its abundant natural resources. As committee chairman, he pledged to visit farmers in their communities to understand their challenges and relay them to the governor for prompt solutions.

Highlights of the event included, naming of Governor Aiyedatiwa as the grand patron by the ondo state Agricultural Commodities Association (OSACA).

Also in attendance is the Deputy Governor, Dr Olayide Adelami, the secretary to the state government, Tayo Oluwatuyi, Chief of staff, Prince Segun Omojuwa, Chief judge of Ondo state, Olusegun Odusola, Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Olamide Oladiji, APC State Chairman, Ade Adetimehin, among other top government functionaries.

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