Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun has said that his administration had so far released N1 billion as soft loans to farmers in the state since inception.
Aregbesola said this during his meeting with cocoa farmers at their farmstead in Oke-Osin in Atakunmosa West Local Government Area of the state.
“In our commitment to support subsistence and commercial farmers, we have so far granted loans close to one billion naira to our farmers.
“We have also disbursed the needed facilities and chemicals for the development of their activities across the state.
“To this end, we are projecting further in our resolve to facilitate more benefits and support to facilitate more participation in farming,” the governor said.
He said his administration would continue to support initiatives to boost the agriculture sector for the sustainability of the state’s economy
Aregbesola said the only way the state could improve its internally generated revenue was for government and Nigerians to focus on agriculture.
According to him, it will be foolhardy for anybody to believe that Osun will survive with what it receives monthly from the Federation Account.
The governor, who noted that the time had come for everybody in the state to embrace agriculture, said: “When there was free money coming from oil, no government was looking at what agriculture could bring to the economy.
“We are back to the days where agriculture will be the main stay of our economy in Osun.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of Farmers Field School, Mr. Timothy Akingbade, commended the governor for keeping to the promises made to farmers.
Akingbade implored the governor not to relent in his efforts at repositioning the agriculture sector.