By Dipo Olowookere
Farmers in Oyo State have been assured by the state government of high patronage of their local farm produce through the Federal Government initiated Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP).
This assurance was given by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Prince Oyewole Oyewumi, while addressing farmers and stakeholders on the Home Grown School Feeding Programme, held at the Conference Room, Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development in Ibadan recently.
The Commissioner noted that the HGSFP, aimed at encouraging pupils to stay in school, increase school enrolment as well as improving their potentials, will also assist in the patronage of local agricultural produce for farmers.
In her remarks, Dr Adeyinka Onabolu, the Senior Adviser on Food Security and Nutrition to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh, reiterated that the HGSFP would patronise local farm products through the state Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development.
She explained that the Oyo State Agriculture ministry’s involvement was to put in place storage and aggregate structures whereby local agricultural produce can be stored in order to maintain quality nutrition for the pupils in public primary schools.
Speaking, a member, Group International Potatoes Center, Dr Olapeju Phorbee urged the farmers in the state to concentrate more on planting of orange flesh sweet potatoes which is not seasonal but can be harvested within 3 months, adding that it contains Vitamin A that is not in other sweet potato varieties.
She therefore enjoined the HGSFP team to incorporate Orange Flesh Sweet potatoes product in their food menus.
In his response on behalf of the farmers, Mr Adewinbi Nathaniel, commended the Federal Government for the pragmatic efforts in ensuring quality food for pupils and improving the standard of education, pledging that farmers are ready to be proactive in producing farm products.
Dignitaries at the event were the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture, Fajinmi, Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture, Mrs. Ganiyat Olawore, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Pastor Atilola Victor, the State Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs Lawal Adebisi and the State Desk Officer, Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Mrs Fawole Janet.
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