Osun State Government has doled out a sum of N2.2m to 14 tomatoes and pepper growers in the state to boost food production.
The empowerment program is being implemented by the state government through the Osun Micro Credit Agency.
Presenting the cheque to the beneficiaries, on behalf of the state Governor Gboyega Oyetola, the manager Osun Micro Credit Agency, Prince Dayo Babaranti said that gesture was aimed at empowering the youths of the state so as to be self reliant.
Babaranti who said emphatically that the present administration of Governor Gboyega Oyetola would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the problem of unemployment is reduced to the barest minimum in the state.
He then added that Governor Oyetola is passionate about the development of the state in all ramifications.
He noted that the Empowerment programme is in three faces , adding that apart from the tomatoes growers, another millions of naira has also been set aside for the Empowerment of cassava and jothropha growers.
However no fewer than 26, 000 people have benefited so far in the loan being dolled out by the agency since its establishment in June 2, 2014.
He also opined that Governor Oyetola in his bid to empower teeming youths and ensure that state is economically bouyant to cater for its citizens approved the loan to support farmers across the state.
He remarked that the first set of the beneficiaries were selected from the four local government areas, having inspected their farm land and convinced about their impressive performance to the tomato faming
The council areas according to him are Boluwaduro, Boripe, Obokun and Ifelodun Local Governments.
Babaranti who explained that the loan given to the tomato growers is a test case, urged the beneficiaries not to disappoint the governmet by making judicious use of the money and ensure it refund on or before the stipulated time.
Commending the government, one of the beneficiaries, Mr Lawal Sikiru Omotunde said they would forever be grateful to Governor Oyetola whom he described as a man of the people.
Omotunde, who is the Chairman, Tomato and Pepper Growers Association of Nigeria, Osun State chapter said majority of them find it so difficult to accomplish their aims despite the seal they have for the farming business as a result of lack of fund. He added that with this loan Intervention it would now be easier for them to earn more in the business.
He recalled the difficulties they did undergo in the course of accessing loan from those money lender’s Organizations because of huge interest rate , adding that Governor Oyetola’s effort in boosting the state economy through Agriculture would in no small measure yielding positive results.
Echoing a similar views, another beneficiary, Mr Okunola Akeem, said they were very happy with the philanthropic gesture of the governor.
Akeem said there is no doubt that Gov Oyetola really meant well for the youth of the state , he added that with this financial assistance , the state would soon become a hub of many agricultural produces in the South West.
He then vowed that the members of tomato and peppers association would start mobilising for Governor Oyetola for his second term in office so as to be able to take the state to the greater heights.