Iddo Local Government Chairman, Honourable Sheriff Aderemi Adeojo recounts Governor Makinde’s achievements in Agriculture, stating that the recent global economic crisis has led to a renewed interest and developmental focus on Agriculture. According to him, the Oyo State Government under the leadership of Engr. Seyi Makinde has appeared to focus on Agricultural development as one of the most powerful tools to end extreme poverty, boost shared prosperity and feed its population of over 7 million people. In this interview with Aanu Oyeleye, the council boss bares his mind on the efforts of the current administration in Oyo State in encouraging farmers to adopt new techniques, making it possible for them through assistance in terms of policy, incentives and farming inputs. Excerpts:
Many have attested that the improvement of agriculture is the solution to overdependence on oil in Nigeria, what is the State Government, through your Local Government doing to achieve this?
With the support of the Governor and the Chairman, Cassava Farmers Association in Oyo State, Alhaji Bashir Adeseun, we have been able to collaborate with organisations like the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Institute of Agricultural Research and Training ( IAR&T), Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT) to improve the agricultural prowess of Oyo State.
We have introduced some new initiatives to the farmers and with the help of these organisations, we were able to bring some expatriates to improve the skills of our people. They came to nurture and train our farmers in modern practices. With the collaboration we had with NIHORT, we worked on vegetables and fruits. We also worked with an NGO in Germany and had a trial in production of watermelon which was successful. Right now, we have the tomato production going on. The Local Government itself has a poultry, rabbity, fishpond which are running. We recently engaged in breeding of broilers from day old. All our efforts are geared towards diversifying to achieve maximum impact.
We also recently inaugurated a farm school which will serve as an avenue for continuous impartation of knowledge and skills. We have collaborated with NISER in the area of funds which will serve as loans to farmers. We all are working in synergy with the Ministry of Agriculture, Oyo State.
There are farmers that have complained about non accessibility of funds, how genuinely accessible are these funds?
The main objective of inaugurating the farm school is to enable registered farmers have unlimited access to the facilities and funds provided except in cases where there is an hitch. For example, our tractor has just developed a fault at Amigo farm. Apart from situations like this, we try to make facilities readily available to the farmers.
What are the strategic measures taken to ensure adequate security for farmers and farmlands from herders’ attack?
We’ve been able to achieve maximum security in Iddo Local Government with the help of our amiable Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde who is quite responsive to our security needs. To curtail attacks, we were able to form a joint task force which comprises of all security agencies both the conventional and the unconventional. The Vigilante, OPC and Agbekoya are all part of of the JTF, and we also organised a meeting between the farmers and herdsmen. At this meeting, we were able to have a mutual understanding. And for a long while now, the Local Government has been safe and calm.
As the 2023 election gathers momentum, what are the chances of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) securing a second term tenure?
The achievements recorded by the Governor has improved our chances. It’s not such a big task as all can see the significant milestones and the level of advancement. Moreover, Iddo Local Government has always been a PDP stronghold and am quite sure that the people are happwy with the administration.