Ondo State governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has assured the people of the state of food security by ensuring all-year production of adequate arable crops and vegetables for all.

Akeredolu, who was represented in Akure during the 2017 World Food Day by his deputy, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, said over 500 youths would be engaged in the dry season farming.

The governor allayed the farmers’ fear over constant attacks by herdsmen, adding that a bill was being considered to tackle the menace.

Akeredolu, while speaking on the theme of this year’s World Food Day “Change the future of migration: Invest in food security and rural development,” said more people had already started migrating from urban to rural areas for investments in agriculture.

He said: “Because agribusiness is the most lucrative enterprise, many people have been asking for land from the state government to enable them engage in agriculture.”

The governor added that his government would embark on massive road construction immediately after the rainy season to open the rural roads.

Ondo State Commissioner for Agriculture, Otunba Adefarati Gboyega, said various initiatives had already been embarked upon by Akeredolu-led government towards attaining “zerohunger.”

He said the state government had partnered with the Federal Government for the supply of 4,000MT of 20-10-10 brand of NPK fertilizer to be distributed to farmers at subsidized rate.

According to him, Ondo State is also partnering with the Federal Government on the “Enable Youth Nigeria Programme” under the African Development Bank intervention.

The intervention, the Commissioner said, was a USD523.0m loan portfolio to be funded mainly by the African Development Bank (AfDB), Africa Grow-Together Fund (AGTF), Federal Government, state government and the Nigerian Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).

He said: “The state government has established three agricultural equipment hiring enterprise centres, one in each of the three senatorial districts of the state.

“Construction of these centres is nearing completion. When completed, they will be 100 percent owned and managed by the farmers’ cooperatives and will ease all the problems associated with the costs and access to agricultural machine and equipment.”