Olubadan, farmer advise Yoruba to return to agriculture


 The Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji and a banker-turned farmer, Mr Babatunde Ogunyemi, had called on Yoruba sons and daughters to return to agriculture to stave the lingering economic downturn.
They gave the advice at the ``Lunch with Olubadan’’ held at the Conference Hall of Kakanfo Inn, Ibadan, capital of Oyo State.
Adetunji said that the Western region had in the past blossomed with agriculture as its major source of economy.
It was also a great source of livelihood bequeathed unto them by their forefathers, the traditional ruler said.
The monarch said that several past leaders of the region had also achieved tremendously by embracing agriculture with a desire to transform the region.
He stressed the need for the Yoruba people to collectively return to their farmlands, which he said was more profitable in the face of economic crisis.
``We must collectively ensure that the region does not go backward. We are known for playing the pacesetting role in all good areas. We have a rich culture, tradition that is cherished across the globe.
``We are known for being creative, knowledgeable, hardworking, honest, accommodating, enterprising and with the display of high level of morals and humility.
``All these are virtues bequeathed to us by our forefathers as what the Yoruba culture and tradition teach and uphold,’’ he said.

Ogunyemi in his lecture titled: ``The Dynamics of Channelling a New Course for Yoruba Entrepreneurship’’ also stressed the need for the teeming populace to embrace farming.
He said that the region was blessed with arable land and favourable weather condition to match, apart from other mineral resources.
Ogunyemi, a former England-based banker now turned farmer, said that he returned from the UK to Nigeria to embrace farming and had never regretted the decision.
``I have 150 acres of land used for farming and I have been supplying my produce to corporate bodies and multinationals,’’ he said.
The farmer said that there was no community in the country that could boast of food sufficiency, adding that the people should embrace farming to guarantee food security and improved living standard.
``The entrants of commercial motorcyclists, known as `Okada’ business, have eroded the interests and commitment of the youths to agriculture because it is no more enterprising to them,’’ he said.
Ogunyemi said that farmers could not meet the demand for the supply of vegetable species : `ewedu’ and `soko’ in the UK , saying they now has high foreign value.
``Today, we export four tonnes of `ewedu’ to Europe on weekly basis. When you plant vegetable, it grows into maturity within 45 days and vegetable seeds worth N1,000 will fill an acre of farmland.
`` It is good to note that vegetables harvested from an acre of land have a foreign value of about 2,300 pounds sterling when exported,’’ he said.
He advocated the establishment of the King’s farm in Ibadan, saying he would be willing to give necessary support as a motivation to the subjects to return to their farmlands.
Similarly, Chief Babajide Ayoade, the facilitator of the programme, stressed the need for the people to team up and collectively channel a new economic course for the region through agriculture.
He said that the programme was targeted at brainstorming on the way forward for the people in the face of the dwindling economic fortunes experienced in the country.
Ayoade also called for the diversification of the nation’s economy through agriculture, adding that it was the only sustainable, profitable and economic-propelling sector.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was attended by several dignitaries that include: Mr Adebayo Adelabu, a Deputy-Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria and Chief Akinade Fijabi, the Asiwaju of Ibadanland.

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