The Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, has empowered farmers, women and youths in Oyo State in the area of agriculture.
The minister, through her pet programme known as Olajumoke Akinjide Foundation Agricultural Youth Empowerment Initiative, distributed tractors, fertilisers, herbicides, seedlings and bundles of cassava stem to the farmers and women.
A statement by her Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Oluyinka Akintunde, quoted the minister as explaining that the initiative was aimed at assisting the farmers, women and youths in their agricultural businesses.
Akinjide said: “These fertilisers are to be given directly to farmers in every local government area of this state free of charge. It is not to be sold or given to politicians who will sell them. The empowerment programme is for all farmers in all the 33 local government areas and not based on party inclination.
“The country cannot continue to depend on the oil and gas sector only. The government is supporting other sectors of the economy, including agriculture and rural development. We need to empower our farmers to enable them support the economy.”
She disclosed that the empowerment programme would also support women and farmers in Oyo State through capacity building in modern farming techniques and agric-businesses to address the twin problems of poverty and unemployment.
She assured the farmers that the Oyo State Peoples Democratic Party was collaborating with micro-finance banks to provide low-cost fund for the farmers in the state.
The minister praised President Goodluck Jonathan for institutionalizing reforms in the agricultural sector and other sectors of the economy, thereby providing jobs and opportunities for the citizens.
Akinjide said: “The Federal Government has initiated the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES), one of the key initiatives under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda aimed at revamping the agriculture sector, ensuring food security, diversifying the economy, and enhancing foreign exchange earnings.
“Under the GES, good quality agro-inputs will be made available through the certified private agro-dealers. The era of diversion of subsidized fertilizers by middlemen has gone for good. All the needs of our farmers are being addressed through the value-chain approach in the ATA of President Goodluck Jonathan
“The ultimate goal is to ensure that agriculture is practiced as lucrative commercial enterprise that is not only sustainable but also attractive to our youths, women and farmers.”
Akinjide also eulogized the President for appointing the highest number of women into his cabinet.
The minister stated: “President Jonathan’s cabinet has 13 women as ministers. The United Nations representative and the Chief Justice of Nigeria are also women. He has been very religious in the allocation of 35 per cent share to women in all ways, and he has promised to make it 50/50 by 2015.”
The Nigerian Ambassador to Jordan, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, commended the FCT Minister of State for her towering contributions in the empowerment of women, youths and farmers.
“Oloye Akinjide is not only a minister, but a woman of virtue, a mother and a grassroots’ mobiliser, who should be supported by all members of the party in her onerous task of stabilising the party in Nigeria in general, and in Oyo State in particular,” Arapaja stated.