Yoruba Ko’ya set to promote food production, others in South-West
• Says food shortage, poverty in Yoruba land, our worry
A pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Yoruba Ko’ya Leadership and Training Foundation, on Friday, said it is resolved to propel knowledge-based entrepreneurship, food production, trading and vocational training among the younger generation and market men and women in the South-West geopolitical zone of the country.
The stated this objective in Lagos at the launched a multipurpose cooperative society to be known as Ijinle Development Multipurpose, saying the organisation was worried over the abysmal level of food production and high level of poverty and hunger in Yoruba land hence its resolve to launch a formal platform to achieve the set goal.
According to the Director of Finance and Investment of the group, Mr Olakunle Osuntokun, it is through the multipurpose society that numerous Yoruba sons and daughters can be empowered financially without any burden.
The Convener of Yoruba Ko’ya, Otunba Deji Osibogun, who addressed the small gathering through teleconferencing from his temporary base in the United States of America, expressed serious worry that the Yoruba nation who used to be a haven of agricultural production in the First and Second republics now relied heavily on other parts of the country for virtually all food items, including garri and yam.
He said from reports reaching him, the COVID-19 pandemic had really exposed Yoruba land as a weak entity in terms of food security and agricultural production, adding that the pandemic has shown that every nation must promote and develop knowledge-based entrepreneurship otherwise known as STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine.
“Therefore, Yoruba Ko’ya, through Ijinle Development Multipurpose will be promoting our innovative and creative young men and women on knowledge-based entrepreneurship so that we can have the Yoruba nation that can compete with the rest of the world,” Osibogun said.
Also speaking, Osuntokun, said the multipurpose cooperative would help “promote culture of savings among the market men and women and both existing and aspiring young entrepreneurs in Yoruba land and boost their savings through loans that attract only 5% interest payable in one year so that their businesses can grow.”
“We are focusing on Food Production, STEM, Vocational Trainings, Agriculture Value Chain and Digital Wealth. Our vision is to build an industrialised Yoruba land-strong in commerce and knowledge-based economy.
“We have faced the reality that any nation that lacks the capacity to feed at least 70% of her citizens will lack true peace. Today, the south west cannot feed 5% of her people which is a worry to us. The Ijinle Development Multipurpose is going to bridge the gap and with consistency, mercy and grace of God, we shall get there,” Osuntokun said.
In his speech, the Ikeja Area Officer of the Directorate of Cooperative in the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Cooperative and Industry, Mr Olusegun Odedina, who inaugurated the cooperative, said many nations of the world, including South Africa, were now strengthening their economy, building wealth and creating employment opportunities for their teeming population through Multipurpose Cooperative.
He charged Yoruba Ko’ya to remain committed to its vision and dream of making the South-West part of the country a producing entity rather than a consuming land that it was at the moment.