The Ekiti State government’s agriculture and rural development programme has received a major boost as the government has secured the World Bank’s support for the initiative.
The State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi disclosed this on Sunday during at his Isan Ekiti country home.
According to Dr Fayemi, the initiative called Rural Access and Marketing Programme (RAMP) will connect Ekiti rural communities to the urban centres and market places as well as help in the reconstruction of farm settlements many of which were built in the fifties by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo but were not put to good use.
The Governor explained that the initiative would help provide basic amenities at the farm settlements so as to encourage farmers in the areas to focus on their agricultural activities.
“One of my assistants is going to be focusing on agric and farmsteads because in the course of my campaigns, I went round those farmsteads. My wife also toured the farmsteads extensively. There are things that are required by the people in those farms that will make their work a lot better in terms of social amenities, social investment, in terms of ensuring that we connect the farms to the market.
“So we have another initiative that is being supported by the World Bank which is known as Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Programme (RAMP). This is meant to assist us to connect our rural communities to the urban centres and the market places in the hope that we can also reconstruct our farm settlements, provide the necessary amenities there and ensure that our people stay back in those places without missing the amenities they ought to have if they were to be in the cities”, he said.
While speaking on the College of Technical and Commercial Agriculture which was scrapped by his predecessor, Governor Fayemi said a bill for the re-enactment of the College establishment law will soon be sent back to the State House of Assembly to enable the school begin operation legally.
The governor who disclosed that the ongoing construction works in the school would be completed before September when the school would open for academic activities, said the College was designed to train and equip young people who are interested in agriculture agric value chain.
His words: “Work has resumed there and significant progress has been made on the road construction. I believe the builders are also on site. The idea is that the school will be ready for use by the opening of a new session in September- October. Some six months of intense work should get it ready. The law is going back to the Assembly for re-enactment because of what the last administration did to it and once that is done, it is legally covered to undertake the business of recruiting our young people who are interested in becoming middle -level managers and technical operators in commercial agriculture in Ekiti.
“Since we have decided that agriculture is important to us as an agrarian society and none of our young people is interested in hoe and cutlass farming. They want modernization and the tools that will enable them participate in the entire value chain right from planting to processing and marketing. As government we are prepared to give necessary support and incentives.