When Osun Sensitised Communities On Natural Resources, Farming | Independent Newspapers Limited
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When Osun Sensitised Communities On Natural Resources, Farming

Posted: Sep 4, 2015 at 12:07 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Gbenga Faturoti


In a bid to re-orientate the people at the grassroots level towards the management of the natural resources around them, with a view to alleviating poverty among them, Osun State Agency for Community and Social Development Project (OsunCSDP) has embarked on sensitisation of communities members, especially farmers on the need to exploit the natural resources as an alternative to reliance on oil which has remained the main stay of the nation’s economy.

The agency kicked started the sensitisation workshop tagged ‘Motivation Workshop on Community-Based Natural Resources Management (NRM)’ in the state at Iyo Community Hall, Ikoyi in Isokan Local Government Council Area of the state. The one-day sensitisation workshop was attended by farmers, associations, groups, artisans, market men and market women, public workers, civil servants, business individuals and groups.

Addressing the participants, the General Manager of the agency, Mrs. Funmi Abokede stressed the need for the nation to eradicate poverty among the community members through effective utilisation and exploitation of natural resources around them to eradicate poverty and hunger among them.

She explained that the capacity building being organised was part of the mandate of the agency in support with the World Bank assistance to increase access of the poor to social and natural resources infrastructures.

Abokede maintained that the agency was challenged by the community focus on social infrastructures without consideration for natural resources infrastructures adding that this identified gap necessitated the need to re-orientate the community members in the area of Community-Based Natural Resources Management.

According to her, “it is not an exaggeration to say today that poverty remains the most critical problem bedevilling our rural and even urban communities amidst abundance God’s given natural resources which have been left under-utilised or out rightly abandoned.

“Many of us are even quick to place blame on the government for what you and I can turn around for our benefit. Recognising the fact that the task of eradicating poverty is never the exclusive preserve of the government as it does not have the omnipotent power to do it, it behoves individual or group to look around and tap into those opportunities presented by the God’s given natures for our well-being.

“More worrisome is the migration of our youth from rural areas to urban cities only to engage themselves in menial jobs which expose them to health and road hazard.

“It is against above background and in line with the mandate of the agency that we are initiating a vision of Green Communities-Community-Based Natural Resources Management for the people to drive.

She stressed that the agency having seeing the urgency of embarking on the project of Green Communities, as pathway to sustainable development and economic freedom, decided to sensitize the community members to embrace on the exploitation of the available natural resources around us to break the yoke of poverty and as well building a strong endowment of natural resources.

The workshop, Abokede continued, will be participatory to cover among others how to take care of our God’s given natures productively for the benefit of community members; how to raise seedlings of economic plants; how to convert abandoned swamps to productive use like vegetable cropping, fish farming, plantation farming; how to exploit our God’s given land for income generation through agriculture: food cropping, cash cropping and animal husbandry, all with a view to alleviating poverty in our communities.

She declared that the initiative was in tandem with Six Point Integral Action Plan of the Governor Rauf Aregbesola led administration in the state which mainly focus on banishing hunger, banishing poverty, banishing unemployment, promote healthy living, promote functional education and promote communal peace and progress.

Abokede however expressed conviction that through approach of the project, the initiative can be translated into clear actions that will build the resilience of our communities.

While presenting his keynote address, Governor Rauf Aregbesola represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Engineer Lere Oriolowo restated the commitment of his administration’s determination to fulfill its Six Point Integral Action Plan which he promised the people of the state during the electioneering campaign.

He said that despite the cash crunch that has hit the nation, his government is committed to making life comfortable for people at the grass root, saying efforts are on to banish poverty through the promotion of agriculture in the state. Aregbesola urged the participants to learn agriculture, assuring that government is committed to making life better for the farmers.

He noted that the present administration would complete the ongoing rural roads to enable rural communities transport their produce to the urban areas with ease.

Aregbesola, who also lauded the Agency for the sensitisation programme, added that his administration will do everything possible to make agriculture lucrative starting with assisting farmers in clearing their land and provision of necessary implements and insecticides at low prices. He also called on agriculture institutes to come to the aide of farmers in the state so that the state can have the best and become the food production centre of the southwest of Nigeria.  He also advised them especially those who have collected agricultural loan from the state government to ensure that the money repaid to encourage the government to do more and extended the gesture to others that are yet to benefit.

A member of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Akinola Olasunkanmi appealed to the agency to bring the workshop down to all the crannies of the state in view of its benefit.

The Executive Secretary of Isokan Local Government, Hon. Akinleye while speaking appealed to participants to take advantage of the workshop and comply with the laid down directives.