In its bid to improve the production of maize and reduce the fear of farmers as a result of pests and diseases in Oyo State, the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan has extended its maize capacity building/ training programme tagged ‘Maize Improvement Programme for Southern Farmers’ to farmers in Saki, Oyo and Ibadan-Ibarapa agricultural zones in the state.
Speaking in Eruwa, headquarters of Ibarapa Local Government area of the state on Wednesday, IAR&T Team Leader, Dr Olugbenga Egbetokun maintained that the capacity building for maize farmers which had earlier been held in Saki and Oyo was to increase productivity and profitability of maize production among the farmers in the state.
Egbetokun while speaking at the training also aimed at improve the productivity said “We are moving around Oyo State to empower farmers’ technical-know-how on how to increase their production and improve productivity of maize and it is all encompassing training which includes all areas of specialty of our seasoned scientists in IAR&T.
The Eleruwa of Eruwa Oba Samuel Adebayo Adegbola while receiving the team in his palace urged the Federal Government through the ministry of agriculture to establish irrigation farms and dams in the South-West like the way it is being done in the North.
While describing the training as timely in this period when the country is looking for other ways to make money, Oba Adegbola maintained that it is time the government make irrigation farms functional in the region.
“I am calling on the Federal Government to establish irrigation farms and dams in the southwest to boost our own production. You know the only profession that predate farming is hunting; farming is an instrument of development which should not to be neglected.
“We have jettisoned farming after the discovery of the oil, I am happy that Nigeria has realized itself that we are now going back to the farm. Now, apart from production, we must think of storage, we have to prepare for harvesting time and time of scarcity.”
Earlier, the Caretaker Committee Chairman in Ibarapa East Local Government area, Hon. John Adeloore declared that his administration is working in synergy with Federal and State governments to give agriculture its rightful place.
He said the council in collaboration with the institute has established on acre of demonstration farm devoted to maize whose proceed (seed) is going to be distributed to the farmers free of charge.