Founder of Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) Chief Afe Babalola has donated cash gift worth N5.8million to farmers in Ekiti state to improve their farm exploits.
No fewer than 48 farmers benefitted from the largesse under his agric empowerment programme code-named , “Afe Babalola Agric Expo ( ABA-EX 2019)
The breakdown of the largesse, showed that the best farmer, second best, and third best in each of the 16 local government areas of the state got money ranging from ,N150,000, N100,000 and N50,000.
The star price of N1m for overall best farmer in the state was won by Mr Aleshinloye Omolayo, from Ijero Local Government.
Speaking at the closing of the 3-Day event held at the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, (ABUAD), Babalola said the annual distribution of the cash gift, which he began in 2012, was his deliberate design to compliment government’s efforts at revamping agriculture.
He added the gesture was also to make farming more attractive to young persons and increase tempo of food production in the state.
He regretted the widening gap between local farmers and funding organizations, in accessing funding and basic agricultural materials towards fostering food production, which he said was one of factors that had landed the country in the current national economic crisis.
The legal icon promised to continue to contribute his quota to the growth and development of the country in every way humanly possible.
Earlier, the Local Organising Committee Chairman of this year’s edition of ABA-EX, Prof Abiodun Ojo, remarked that the introduction and continued sponsorship of the annual event by Babalola was fast rekindling the hope that the country could overcome worrisome index of food security.
The All Farmers Association of Nigeria, (AFAN) chairman in the state, Adebola Alagbada, in a goodwill message, described agriculture as leading occupation in the state, with over 65% participation, saying Babalola’s intervention was in the right direction.