Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun has appealed to Nigerians to patronise local rice to boost local production of the commodity to boost food security and ensure sustenance of the nation’s economy.
Aregbesola made the appeal at an interaction with rice farmers at Onilapa Rice Settlement, Ogbaagbaa, Olaoluwa Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday.
The governor said it was a pity that Nigerians relied heavily on imported rice at the detriment of the Nigerian brand, saying the development was destroying the nation’s economy.
He also decried the huge amount of money the nation was wasting annually on the importation of rice.
The governor said he was at the occasion to witness harvested rice tagged: ‘Ofada Osun Rice’ and to drum support for rice farmers.
Aregbesola said his administration was determined to partner with the local farmers for mass production of rice for food security.
The governor said that if more Nigerians, especially the youths could go into rice farming, the nation would stop relying on crude oil as the only means of income.
Cattle and Grazing
He said government planned census of the cattle and grazing land as part of effort to find lasting solution to herdsdmen/farmers’ clashes in the state.
Aregbesola, however, said that henceforth, every Fulani herdsman entering the state would be registered with the state government before being allowed to reside in the state.
In an address, the immediate past Special Assistant to the Governor on Quick Impact Intervention Programme (QIIP), Mr Dele
Ogundipe, said the state government spent more than N17.6 million to clear the Onilapa rice farm for farmers.
The Chairman of the Osun Rice Farmers Cooperative, Mr Ishola Oyewole, commended the governor for assisting rice farmers through QIIP programme.