Monday, May 17, 2021

Guard your farms against herdsmen invasion, Akeredolu urges farmers

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Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has urged farmers to guard their farmlands so as not to be invaded and destroyed by herdsmen.

The governor’s position was conveyed to farmers by Akin Olotu, his Senior Special Assistant on Agriculture and Agro-Allied Industries on Thursday in Akure at a “Cassava Revolution’’ flag-off.

Olotu, who represented Akeredolu at the ceremony, quoted the governor as saying there was the need for concerted efforts to protect farmers to ensure food supply.

“I want to advise that our people should come together and organise vigilantes in their respective localities to protect their farms and businesses.

“And if there is any issue, they should not hesitate to inform the Amotekun Corps, the police and others security agents,’’ the governor said in his message.

He said the state government was ready to create more jobs for youths, through the agriculture business.

According to him, more farmers will be engaged as the cassava revolution kicks off just as the ethanol factory in the state will be able to produce at higher capacity with more cassava tubers produced.

In a message to the ceremony, Mr Alex Ajipe, Chief Executive Officer of a private firm behind the “Cassava Revolution’’, noted that the plan was to contribute to efforts at industrialising Ondo State.

Principal Consultant at the firm, Mr Sunday Olatigbe, who delivered the message, said more than 7,000 farmers had been engaged to produce cassava.

`The ethanol factory, which is another first of its kind in the state, will gulp over 400 tonnes of cassava daily and provide direct employment for more than 500 people,’’ Olatigbe said.

He advised youths across the state to embrace agriculture to make the state a food hub.

He said the company was encouraging Ondo State people, especially youths, to get involved in cassava farming by registering them and facilitating no-interest loan s for them.

“For insecurity, we are planning to insure all the farms and partner with security agencies across all the 18 local government areas of the state.

“These security agents like vigilantes, will watch over those farms to ensure their safety,’’ he said.

Representatives of Providus Bank and that of Bank of Industry, Mary Nikoro and Joshua Ajayi respectively, expressed their banks’ readiness to partner with the firm.

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