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Osun Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, has disclosed that the state will partner the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and private sector to enhance mechanised agriculture. 

This, he said, will boost productivity and move farmers away from unproductive usage of traditional farming implements such as hoes and cutlasses.

He said it will also promote commercial agriculture and improve farmers’ income and standard of living.

Oyetola stated this during a one-day Farmers’ Field Day exhibition, in Osogbo, last Wednesday. “Under the partnership with IITA, the state government has provided 205.5 hectares of land in Ago Owu for the purpose of conducting researches and setting up demonstration farms for best farming practices,” he said.

Oyetola said the state, under his leadership, is ready to support farmers as well as embark on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in the agricultural sector.

“We will also facilitate the provision of affordable access to farm machinery and equipment for farmers and youths in agriculture.

“Our administration owes a debt of gratitude to our critical development partners, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), IITA, Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) and National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), and several others that have been very supportive of our dream and drive to take agriculture to the next level,” he said.

Earlier, IITA Head of Mechanisation Unit, Peter Kolawole, said the institute is championing the running of a programme called Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) sponsored by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

“We are looking at the technologies produced by Nigerians that we can upscale and transform agriculture in Africa. Further, we are aiming at taking hoes and cutlasses back to the museum. This will affect both pre-harvest and post-harvest aspects of agriculture,” he said.

Source: Sun News

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