The Federal Government has inaugurated 2016 cashew planting season at Ogudu village in Ile Ife, Osun State.
The inauguration which was witnessed by the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on Tuesday evening gave hope to farmers as the minister said the FG would soon establish Cashew Processing Factory in the town in other to add value to the commodity.
Ogbeh said cashew had become second most profitable commodity after cocoa, while urging youths in the country to begin to plant the crop.
The minister said investing in agriculture especially cashew and other crops would assist in luring away youths from the streets and remove their frustration as a result of the poor economic situation in the country.
Aregbesola said,”Our government has identified agriculture as a key economic sector capable of turning around the general well-being of Nigerians.
“We are fully ready to embark on full plantation of two million cashew trees every year for the next four years in order to maximize the embedded potential in the non-oil sectors.
“It is regrettable that we found ourselves in this economic mess due to misapplication of priority and mismanagement of our commonwealth, but nevertheless, no stone would be left unturned by the current government to ensure that the country regained her lost glory in all sectors.
“We will also build processing factory to process cashew which would be harvested in order to add value to them and to increase money to be generated from the crop.”
The minister lauded the Ooni for having great passion to ensure the liberation of the youths in his domain from joblessness and poverty.
Ogbe, who is a former national Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, blamed the poor economic situation in the country in the lack of proper planning by the last administration.
He exonerated governors of states which were facing difficulties in paying their workers’ salary, saying the problem was not their fault but was caused by the poor economy.