Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has advised women to plant enough vegetables for local consumption so as to discourage its importation from countries like South Africa.

Akeredolu gave the advice in Akure on Thursday when he received members of FADAMA III Additional Financing project, led by Mr Tayo Adewumi, National Project Coordinator.

“Vegetables cultivation is less tasking; hence women can easily go into it, so that we don’t keep importing vegetables from South Africa,’’ he said.

He said that initiating viable vegetable projects for women could be a channel for creating veritable means of livelihoods for many families in the country.

The governor reiterated the determination of his administration to transform the state’s economy by exploiting the potential of agriculture in job and wealth creation.

He commended the Federal Government for introducing FADAMA, which he described as useful in facilitating the efforts of the rural dwellers to earn a living through agriculture.

Akeredolu also stressed that the importance of farming equipment such as tractors to commercial agriculture, particularly in the cultivation and harvesting of crops, could never be over-emphasised.

“‘We pray that FADAMA can assist us with the provision of tractor equipment centres in each of our three senatorial districts,’’ he said.

Speaking, Adewumi said that a 10-day Graduate Unemployment Youth Support programme would soon be organised for youths.

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“The programme is to encourage youths between the ages of 18 years and 35 years to go into agriculture as a profession and business.

“Judging from empirical studies, real farmers are ageing away; some are dead and others are old. To start with, 15 to 20 states, including Ondo, will be covered under the first phase of the programme, which involves 200 to 300 youths per state.

“By end of June, starter packs would be given to the youth, based on their chosen enterprise of interest like aquaculture or poultry.

“The whole idea is to take youths away from the streets into farming; a lot of social vices and youth restiveness in the country today will be a thing of the past,’’ he said.

Besides, Adewumi said that plans were underway to produce “Sunshine Rice’’ in Ondo State before the end of the year.

“We want to make sure that we are producing quality rice; we will then bring it out publicly and give it a name and brand.

“We will work with your government to make sure we are able to do this,’’ he said.