Economic crunch: Aregbesola, Ogbeh, Ooni flag off cashew farming in Osun

Posted by Adaora Anozie

On June 11, 2016

Towards ensuring a sustainable agricultural revolution as a panacea to current economic hard­ship occasioned by the sharp drop in crude oil price, Osun State Gover­nor, Rauf Aregbesola, has flagged off the 2016 Ca­shew planting season.The Sun Reports.

The governor spoke at the flag-off ceremony at Ogudu Village, Ile-Ife, in Ife-East Local Government Area of the state yesterday.

Aregbesola called on all able-bodied Nigerians to take to farming, on full or part time basis, “as an alternative to crude oil which can no longer sus­tain the country’s econo­my.”

He described cashew as a cash and health-promot­ing crop, noting that Osun State was ready to partner any investor to boost the agricultural sector.

He also called on other leaders in all tiers of gov­ernment to stop relying on the failed oil sector and seek other means of sus­taining the economy.

This was even as the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, dis­closed that the ministry would embark on planting two million cashew trees every year for four years.

Ogbeh further remarked that the purpose of quick intervention in agriculture by the Federal Govern­ment was to ensure the na­tion regained her lost glory as the food basket of Afri­ca, saying all hands must be on deck to revitalize the sector and the economy.

The minister maintained that since agriculture was the largest employer of la­bour, his ministry would deploy necessary mecha­nisms that would facilitate mass employment for the Nigerian youths.

In his remarks, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi disclosed that 2,000 hectares of land had been acquired in Ile-Ife and being cultivated for cashew plantation, add­ing that as soon as people started showing interest in farming, more land would be released for the pur­pose.

The monarch stressed that the ongoing massive planting of cashew in the state was, no doubt, the beginning of a new dawn in the agricultural revolu­tion in the country, add­ing that with such a giant stride being recorded, the state had set up a machin­ery to rescue the nation from economic strangula­tion in the nearest future.