As part of efforts to encourage farmers and boost local production of rice in Osun, the administration of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, on Wednesday, 22 December, 2021 commenced distribution of local rice popularly known as “Ofada” to the beneficiaries of the monthly Food Support Scheme.
This initiative will not only boost local production of rice but will also encourage the farmers and create ready made market for their farm produce which will contribute to making Osun hub of the nation’s agricultural produce.
Speaking at the symbolic flag off of the 9th edition of the Food Support Scheme, held at the Local Government Service Commission, Government Secretariat, Abere, Osogbo, Governor Oyetola noted that the initiative was to further actualise his plans to genuinely diversify the economy by unraveling the potential embedded in the critical sectors such as agriculture, mining and tourism.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prince Wole Oyebamiji, the Governor reiterated his commitment towards sustaining the programme, noting that no amount of downturn in the economy would prevent the programme from happening on monthly basis as designed.
He disclosed that another empowerment plan had reached the final stage to ensure that widows, aged and other vulnerable citizens who were not captured in the food support scheme are properly taken care of.
Governor Oyetola who noted that over 270,000 households had benefited from the scheme since its commencement nine months ago, said no effort would be spared to add value to the initiative which has been widely accepted by the people.
“You will recall that nine months ago, our government did promise that on a monthly basis, 30,000 households will be fed and this is the ninth edition making 270,000 households that had benefited from the Scheme. And when we talk of household, it is not an individual that makes up an household, essentially, the husband, wife, children and dependants.
“So, when we look at the numbers of the beneficiaries, one would not but agree that thousand of residents of the state had benefitted so far.
“This is an achievement of the wishes and aspirations of Mr Governor to ensure that the common man also benefit from his lofty people-centred programmes designed to cater for their welfare and well-being.
“There is strategy already put in place to ensure that all the food items get to the beneficiaries across the 30 Local Government Areas of the State and this will be done before the end of this week”, he added.
Earlier, the state Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Engr. Olalekan Badmus, said the government’s resolve to promote local content had begun to yield positive results as evidenced in the successful move to source Ofada rice locally.
Engr. Badmus who was accompanied by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Regional Integration and Special Duties, Hon. Samson Owoyokun, said it gladdened his heart that this month’s edition was dedicated to pure local food.
According to him, the initiative will enhance the production capacity and encourage the young ones to go into farming as government was resolute to create enabling environment for citizens particularly farmers to thrive.
“We are doing the 9th edition of the Ilerioluwa Food Support Scheme and this one is spectacular because we have gone out of our way to meet our local rice farmers to ensure that we are getting enough rice for distribution.
“This initiative is to ensure that we source the food contents directly from the farmers for distribution as part of efforts to boost the local productions and strengthen the production capacity in our State.
“Yes, we couldn’t get all in the State because of the present rice production capacity but this is Nigerian-made rice popularly known as “Ofada rice” that we sourced locally from the farmers.
“As it is, our farmers will be enjoy direct purchase from the government as this will also go a long way to encourage our farmers to grow rice and other staple foods.
“I can assure you all that as far as Mr Governor remains in government, he will continue to support our farmers to revamp the agricultural sector,” he added.