Being the remarks by His Excellency Seyi Makinde, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, at the Flag Off of the Annual Input Support to 20,000 Farmers in Oyo State through Oy-NCARES at the Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igbo-Ora on Wednesday, June 2, 2021
The last time I was here in Ibarapaland, the circumstances were different. Then, we were discussing the security issues that you face. I remember that I made the comment that we needed to tackle those challenges because that is the only way to economic prosperity. You cannot go to your farms freely, or grow your crops if the area is not secure.
Since that time, we have taken various steps to ensure that the people of Ibarapaland and indeed the whole of Oyo State, sleep with their two eyes closed.
Today, we are here to flag off a programme that we believe will contribute to economic prosperity – the annual input support to 20,000 Oyo State farmers.
Last year, we provided support for over 10,000 farmers in Oyo State as part of the state’s post COVID-19 food security plan. One of the things we did then was to call the farmers directly and ask them what they wanted. Their feedback enabled us provide targeted support.
I must say that when you use science, data and logic to make decisions, it cannot be faulted. This programme that is now being supported by the World Bank across all states in Nigeria is a replication of what we did last year in Oyo State.
Let me also say, that something that usually happens with these types of interventions is that after the government provides the necessary assistance, the relief does not get to the real people. We have made sure this no longer happens in Oyo State. We have a database of farmers that we are constantly updating. We will continue to use this data to ensure that the right people get the right support at the right time.
You farmers are important to us, we know that you are the custodians of our food security and that is why we must do everything in our power to support you.
So, this year, we are driving this intervention using the Oy-NCARES programme supported by the World Bank.
We know that you, our smallholder farmers need all the support you can get. We hear all the challenges you are facing: challenges with irrigation, with getting the best seedlings that will assure higher yields, with getting fertilisers. We hear you and we feel your pain and we will continue to keep in focus our promise to you that all our actions will be to make your life better.
Later today, at the town hall meeting, we will have more opportunities to talk to you and share some of the other plans that we have made for you. For example, we are partnering with people in the private sector to lower the prices for hiring tractors for you. Government will be encouraging investments to provide some of this heavy-duty equipment to meet your needs.
So, on this note, I flag off the annual input support to 20,000 Oyo State farmers through Oy-NCARES to the glory of God and for the benefit of the good people of Oyo State.
~ Seyi Makinde, June 2, 2021