Ondo State News

Ondo State seeks to model Thailand’s alternative development for drug abuse

As part of his engagement in Thailand on Medicinal Cannabis Extraction development, the Ondo State delegation led by Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN visited the Mae Fah Luang Foundation (MFLF) in Chang Rai (Northern region in Thailand) which was established in 1988.

The MFLF plays a leading role in advocating sustainable development policies at both domestic and international levels, as well as promoting community enterprises with the foundation launching the Doi Tung Development Project DTDP and other projects to solve problems of survival, illicit drugs and social disparity, as well as to build a new generation of youths to become self-reliant and earn sustainable livelihoods.

The Doi Tung Development Project has been internationally recognized as a model project for alternative development for a sustainable livelihood. The centre which was initially set up by Thailand Royal Patronage is now self reliant and turns over $17m annually

Governor Akeredolu with the delegation toured the Doi Tung Development Project’s vocational training centre for sewing and weaving, coffee bean roasting facility and macadamia processing facility, pottery and ceramic facility as well as the “The Hall of Opium” which was built to reduce the demand for narcotics by providing knowledge and information through a presentation of the genesis and history of opium war, its benefits and scourges, its economic, social and environmental effects, through a multi-media format.

The visit to the Hall of Opium offered hope and the lessons learnt, if closely followed by states in Nigeria presently ravaged by effects of various drug abuses will help reduce the evident threat to national security.

According to the governor, the Ondo state sericulture unit will be upgraded using the Doi Tung Foundation Model with the foundation’s array of superior looms and diverse products being marketed across the globe.

Governor Akeredolu said he’s convinced that it has become imperative, to push the drive to create self sustaining jobs for the rising army of able bodied but unemployed youths in the state and Nigeria at large, adding that the drive is geared towards banishing poverty at all levels and reducing capital flight from the state.

Top of the Governor’s move included the Capacity building of Ondo State Sericulture staff and trainees, through an exchange program which is been worked out with the foundation.

It is a known fact that Ondo State has always been a hotbed for illegal plantations of cannabis in the country, with the plethora of problems associated with the abuse of the plant, especially among the youths in the country.

The Governor is finding alternative ways for farmers so that the produce is fed into the industries seeking licenses if granted, to set up hemp oil extraction industries for the export market.

📷 Nguher Gabrielle Zaki

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