By Desmond Ogudu
Oyo State Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde, has begun moves to revive farm settlements established when Chief Obafemi Awolowo was the Premier of the old Western Region.
The Governor said the nine farm settlements located across the State had ranches, pigsties, ponds, poultry pens apart from the large expanse of land to grow crops.
Speaking to our correspondent in an interview through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa, Makinde said the farm settlements would be resuscitated to increase the food production capacity of the State and to boost its economy.
The Governor said that the farm settlements didn’t belong to Oodua Investments like some people think, saying they were property of the State.
He said, “Oodua Investments is not the owner of the ranches. Western Region owned the farm settlements. They are not ranches but they are farm settlements owned by the State where they are located”.
“We have nine of them in Oyo State and they are going to be revived. We were in Eruwa three weeks ago and an assurance was given that the over 5,000 hectares located in Ibarapa would be revived with provision of immediate access roads and necessary empowerments”.
“The same thing will happen at all the other eight farm settlements which were established by Chief Obafemi Awolowo”.
“The farm settlements are complete packages. Chief Awolowo imported cows from Israel and was going to grow the animal husbandry business there before they fizzled out”.
“The ones in the Western Region are not mere ranches. They are complete farm settlements with different segments such as animal husbandry, fisheries, poultry and even piggery”, he concluded.