The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi has embarked on an agricultural revolution initiative with the proposed distribution of one million nursery plants of cocoa trees to youths in Ile-Ife.
This is also to empower them to be self-reliant.
Unveiling the one million cocoa nurseries at a farm in Ife, the Director of Media and Public Affairs to the monarch, Mr Moses Olafare, says the Ooni is determined to empower Ife youths economically and has identified agriculture as one of the areas to achieve the goal.
He says the one million cocoa nurseries farm was the first phase of the targeted 10 million of such farms and that thousands of youths would benefit from the initiative.
The palace spokesperson says the Ooni is not happy with the manner cocoa has been neglected in the South-West, saying the Ife youths were already motivated to pay attention to agriculture, especially cocoa farming.
“The Ooni as the grand patron of the Graduate Farmers Association of Nigeria has imperatively chosen agriculture, cocoa to be specific, which now sells for about $3,000 dollars per tonne, as a perfect alternative to the dwindling crude oil.
“The Ooni is embarking on a scheme of the largest cocoa plantation nursery in Nigeria, targeting 10 million trees in which each youth would get 2,000 plants from the nursery stage. It is pertinent to say that we will not be alone in the scheme since there are rooms for partnerships.”
Olafare says Osun State government and the federal government have promised their support for the scheme.
He also said a USA-based company, Dynamic Green Concept Ltd and the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), are also ready to partner with the Ooni on the scheme.