Kwara State Government on Wednesday 21st of April, 2021 launched a pilot scheme of 500-hectare Farm Kwara in Ifelodun local government to create farming communities that nurture future agripreneurs, improve the productivity of smallholder farmers, and boost food security in the state.
Domiciled in the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Nongovernmental Affairs and Team Lead of the National Young Farmers Programme Toyosi Thomas, the Farm Kwara initiative will soon begin the process of accessing 500 hectares of land in other local government areas to establish farm estates and allocate up to five hectares each to 100 young farmers.
The initiative, an offshoot of the recently launched Kwara State Agricultural Transformation Plan, is being facilitated by the government which would help young farmers to get land and financial facilities which would all be paid back under a win-win arrangement.
Speaking at the launch of Farm Kwara in Adanla community of Ifelodun local government, Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi said at least half of the youth beneficiaries would be women and that participants will be provided with inputs, mechanisation and technical support to ensure sustainability in partnership with private sector partners.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary Kwara State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Mariam Nurudeen Muhammad, the Deputy Governor said: “Today’s programme is another effort at ensuring food security and develop and expand the vast agricultural potential of the state and the nation at large”
“For a nation to achieve food security, we must first ensure transformation of the agricultural sector from the age-long subsistence practice to a productively smart and innovative enterprise that is not only eco-friendly but sustainable. This can be achieved by attracting modern techniques in agricultural commodity values in the state. This is essentially the hallmark of the National Youth Farm Programme”
“On our part as a government, we will leave no stone unturned in meaningfully engaging our youths and women in different productive ventures to fight hunger and poverty in our land.”
Technical Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture AbdulQowiy Olododo said the programme is one of the initiatives of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s administration to ensure that youths are gainfully employed.
“Basically, the government has supported with land clearing and this project is being supported by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Sterling Bank and IITA, Ibadan, to engage the youth on agribusiness,” he said.
In his remarks, his royal highness, Elerin of Adanla Oba David Oyerinola Adedunmoye who commended the state government said “On our part, my community has graciously offered an expanse of land for the programme to support the state and federal governments in the rebranding of agriculture and development of rural areas where food comes from.”