In Ilora, a town in Oyo State, hundreds of young school leavers, male and female are engaged in mechanized farming, poultry keeping, cassava, maize and vegetable production.
The establishment of a farm settlement in Ilora by the defunct Western Region Government of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo probably accounted for the people’s wide acceptance of mechanized farming.
Similarly, almost every family in the community is engaged in fish farming, thereby making Ilora a fast growing fish market in Nigeria.
During the dry season,traders from the northern part of the country also collaborate with local farmers in converting poultry waste to organic fertilizers used for their carrot, onion and tomato farms.
Findings, however, showed that these modern agricultural potentials lack the attention required from government for sustainable food production.
A mechanized farmer with over forty years experience in poultry and crop farming, Chief Oluade Ogunronbi called for urgent government intervention to enable farmers to raise their production capacity.
Lamenting the various challenges facing agriculture as a vocation and the moribund farm settlement in his domain, the traditional ruler of Ilora,Oba Stephen Olufemi Oparide, said it could trigger rural-urban migration if not addressed.
Oba Oparinde however expressed optimism that the situation could be reversed if the Federal Government could, among other things, complete an abandoned irrigation project in the area.
Reacting ,a professor of agronomy, Julius Ipade-Olaifa called for a Federal Government intervention that would enhance crop production and reduce post – harvest losses.
Professor Olaifa, who is an indigen of the community, also advised government to come up with policies strong enough to make agriculture the mainstay of the country’s economy.