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Minister Sponsors Training 20  Young  Farmers In Oyo

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Joel Ajayi

In a bid to eradicate poverty and ensure food security in Oyo state, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare under the supervision of the National Directorate of Employment NDE has commenced the training of 20 Youth in Agriculture in a bid to expose them to various agricultural techniques.

 

This is in line with the charge of Mr. President to encourage and support the youth to take to agriculture.

 

The flag-off of the 3-month training took place at the Oyo East local government Secretariat with young men and women in attendance.

 

In a message sent by the  Minister on the first day of the 90 days training, he said

 

“The agricultural sector is a key-value chain of the economy, which will make the beneficiaries to be productive to themselves and the society in general. This programme is meant to build young farmers, make everyone self-reliant and provide food security in the state.

 

The beneficiaries were selected from the 33 local government areas in Oyo state. The participants will be trained on various aspects of agriculture such as crop production, fishery, palm oil processing and livestock. After the training, each participant shall receive farm tools to support them to turning the training into practice.

 

Speaking at the event, Mr. Matthew a beneficiary said “Great honour to the  Minister, Mr Sunday Dare for this great plan to empower unemployed people in the State to be self-employed in the agricultural sector.

 

Another beneficiary, Mr. Atolagbe from Oyo west local government said ”

 

I’m elated to be a part of this program and I thank our Minister, for the opportunity.

NDE coordinator of the programme in the Oyo  State office of NDE, Mr. Adedoja Kabir called on people to embrace agriculture in order to ensure food sufficiency in the state. He confirmed that the Youth were personally sponsored by the Minister of Youth and Sports for the Scheme.

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Agriculture

Harmonisation Of W/Africa Organic Agriculture Standards Will Enhance Regional Trade – Experts

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Joel Ajayi 
Organic Agriculture practice experts say harmonisation of its standards among the 15 ECOWAS members will enhance quality trade in certified produce and products in the region.


They gave the assurance at the closing day of the 6th West African Conference on Organic Agriculture with the Theme, ‘Feeding the World Without Poisoning’ at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.


The hybrid 4-day event monitored had participants from across the world rubbing minds over how to ensure healthy, sustainable agriculture practices.


They assured participants that the harmonisation of the standards is for the good of the health of the people of the member states and their environment.


Mr Ernest Aubee, Head of Agriculture, ECOWAS Commission, Abuja, and Chairman of Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Regional Steering Committee, said that the standards documents would be submitted to ECOWAS for ratification and approval.


“In West Africa, we have different standards in different countries, while some countries do not have any at all, so this harmonisation will protect the interests of both those who have and those who do not have”.


Aubee said that organic Agriculture is developing fast at the global level, however, the pace is still slow in West Africa compared to Eastern Africa, Europe and Australia.


“This harmonisation will accelerate organic agriculture development, regional growth of food, and security integration.
“We want to achieve food security and safety, so that our people do not only have enough to eat, but eat quality and nutritious food.


“Therefore, I encourage stakeholders to appreciate and key into these harmonised standards when approved, in the interest of the region”.


Mr Rene Emmenegger, Project Manager, of International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) stressed the importance of organic agriculture standards.


He said that the standardisation will not only improve development of organic agriculture in West Africa but also encourage export business.


He said that IFOAM offers a platform for organic standards setters to discuss standards and create synergies for standard development and harmonisation to also ease trade.


 “Agriculture and certified organic farming without viable trade is not sustainable.
“It will bring diversity of produce, simplicity of the process, empowerment of farmers, and easy access to standardised produce and products in the region.


“It will also promote and increase supply of organic produce and products and stimulate the growth of the organic sector of the region”.


Dr Olugbenga AdeOluwa, Secretary, West Africa Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) cluster noted that political and financial support is needed for proper formulation and implementation of the standards.
AdeOluwa suggested an enactment of  stand-alone EOA policies, strategies and frameworks that support the regional standard.


“These policies should give clear guidelines and full support to the production of organic inputs and products. 
“The policies should have proper institutionalisation and inclusivity of all stakeholders and public-private partnerships. 


“It must include a bottom-up approach in the policy implementation which offers farmers good opportunities to contribute to the process and ensure its success”.

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