FARMERS under the Kwara State Offtakers Demand Driven Agriculture (ODDA) scheme have commenced seed planting in Estate farms across the state.
The State Commissioner of Agriculture, Mr Bamidele Adegoke revealed this on Monday while inspecting the 400 hectare Oke-oyi Estate Farm – one of several under the scheme.
He noted that the State government is using the scheme as an empowerment programme to drive employment, boost food production and diversify the State’s economy.
Adegoke said through ODDA, the State government has ensured farmers have ready markets for their farm produce, thereby eliminating cost of storage and minimizing post-harvest losses.
The Special Adviser to the governor on Agriculture, Mr Anu Ibiwoye, who was also on the inspection team, urged beneficiaries to take the programme serious and advised those who are not currently participating or benefiting from programme to look towards the next phase and embrace it.
One of the youth beneficiaries, Mr Kazeem Azeez, commended the State government for the initiative, which he said has gainfully employed him.
He urged youths who are still seeking limited white collar jobs to go back to farm.
Mohammed Saliu, another youth beneficiary, noted that the Kwara State government provided all the input needed for him to succeed in farming.
He said that the selection process for the scheme was free and fair as he walked into the Kwara Agro Mall, registered and followed the process through.
Saliu disclosed that over a thousand youth have been employed under the ODDA scheme and urged the Governor Ahmed-led administration to continue to engage youth in agriculture.
Other communities where the government had secured land for the estate farms include Ejidongari, Esie, Agbamu, Reke, Malete, Alateko, Ekan, Ballah, Isin, Share, Shonga, Bode-Saadu and Owode-Ofaro.