The Programme Manager and Head of Department for Rural Development Programme of the Justice Development and Peace Makers’ Centre (JDPMC) of Osogbo Diocese, Mrs. Onaolapo Morenike had said that over one million Farmers across the thirty one (31) Local Governments of Osun State benefit directly and indirectly from various Agriculturally-based interventions of the Rural Development Programme (RUDEP) of the Justice Development and Peace Makers’ Centre of Osogbo Catholic Diocese.
Mrs.Onaolapo noted this in an interview with the Journalists during the just concluded Strategic Planning Meeting with a cross section of the Apex Members of the Sustainable Farmers Association held in JDPMC office, Osogbo.
According to the Programme Manager, the Rural Development Programme is an initiative of Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, initiated to have rural dwellers in the coverage areas with improved skills and knowledge as well as changed attitude for sustainable agricultural and social development. The target farmers formed and registered as autonomous farmers’ body called “Sustainable Farmers Association” which is structured into group, zone and apex respectively.
The Programme Manager explained that the initiative has given birth to many formidable Farmers’ groups across Osun State and affected positively Agricultural Productions and standard of living of the target group through technical capacity building, access to information, quality input supports, access to credit facilities, learning and experience sharing, linkage and collaboration and other useful areas of interventions such as public awareness programmes on radio which over the years have been yielding positiverresult and touching millions of lives who desire Agriculture as a key calling.
She added that, the strategic planning workshop was attended by farmers’ representatives from Four Zones, namely: Osogbo, Ijesa, Ila and Atakumosa zones. These representatives are the ones who form APEX body and include the representatives of different socio-economic groups within the target groups, with the hope to put in place strategic plans that would guide the association’s operations for the next five years which shall base on agreed recommendations of the Association. The Meeting also afforded the farmers to bring into perspective things they have done in the past, the SWOT analysis of the Association and what they intend to do for the future. It was equally an avenue to strengthen their unity of purpose thereby bringing about unified Agricultural Blueprint that will define their course of focus in the noble chosen field.
“You will, no doubt, agree with me that the RUDEP intervention is strongly backed up by consistent participatory monitoring and evaluation of the Farmers’ situation and performance, which mostly centred on the identification of the farmers’ needs and consequently resulted into development of a set of measures which can address the needs of the farmers in the projected interventions. This has made our various interventions a demand driven one.”
She maintained further “Unequivocally, I dare boldly say that through our pragmatic approaches and direct contact strategies, Rural Development Programme under the auspices of JDPMC has positively impacted on millions of People in our large scale efforts with support from our highly esteemed International Donor considering our sensitizing programmes on radio and enlightening social media platforms, community-based training and various workshops that enhanced farmers’ technical know-how on subject matters which place no limitation on anyone,” She affirmed.
Speaking one after the other, Mr. Adegboye fatai, Remilekun Ojo, Mr.Fatokun Jeremiah commended the outcome of the Meeting of which they adjudged productive and enhancing to their needs while promising to multiply and share the experience gained in the Meeting to the others at their various Zones.
In his remark, the programme officer for Rural Development Programme of the Justice Development and Peace Makers’ centre of Osogbo Diocese. Mr. Charles Fashina charged the Members of the Sustainable Farmers Association to leverage on the Information Communication Technology and global Digitization that would afford them of favourable market system to sell their farm produces so as to scale up among the Contemporaries in Nigeria.
Part of the top priorities examined in the meeting were redefinition of Association’s Vision and Mission’s Statements that placed premium on safe and sustainable food provision through networking and collaborations with relevant Agencies, coalition building, advocacy, learning and experience sharing, indigenous research development and many others. Other areas of priority are development of Association objective, strategies and five years Action plan which runs through 2019 and 2023.