The government of the state of Osun has disclosed that it will subsidize the price of rams for the muslim faithful during for the Eld-Kabir celebration.
The governor who spoke at Oloba Cattle fattening hub, Iwo, on Friday, during the ceremony marking the kick-off of ram sales for this year’s Eid-el-Kabir celebrations by the state government reiterated that his administration was commited to the welfare of the people regardless of their religious leanings.
Aregbesola, who was represented at the event by the Secretary to the state government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, stated further that his administration was ready to create additional ten thousand jobs for people through the Oloba Farm and other farms that would be developed across the State.
He stated that it is the intention of the government to raise the cattle hub to international standard, which according to him is the dream of the administration, saying that the farm
will be managed through private sector operators in a public private partnership with the government.
He said: “Regrettably, however, in modern times, we lost animal rearing and have become dependent on meat from other places. We have not only lost the capacity to feed ourselves, we have also lost a veritable economic venture. In Lagos alone, at least 6,000 cattle are slaughtered everyday and at every Ileya, thousands of rams are killed.
“If we can plug effectively into this, we will provide at least 5,000 direct jobs and five times more indirectly through animal husbandry and allied industries.
“This Oloba Cattle Ranch and the others that are being developed in the state will be managed by private sector operators in a public private partnership with the state government.
These operators will be responsible for administering the ranch, ensuring security of property and cattle, and will collect and remit fees on behalf of government.
“The role of government is to develop the road, power and water infrastructure required on the ranches, while the general public in Osun will be able to lease space to feed and keep their cattle until they are ready for the market.”
He added that the state is promoting the establishment of ram and cattle fattening which
will upon full installation accommodate over 10,000 animals for fattening and provide a huge cattle market for the state and its environs.
He stressed that the hub is a means to self-sufficiency in meat production and unlimited business opportunity in the agro allied industries, adding that the rams at the hub are of
the highest quality.
He continued, “At the Oloba Cattle Ranch, we are promoting the establishment of ram and cattle feedlot. Upon full installation, the ranch will accommodate 10,000 animals for fattening.
It will also provide grazing reserves, cattle markets, breeding centres, fattening hubs and abattoir.
“For long, the impression has been falsely given that animal husbandry is not part of our agriculture enterprises; that animals must come from other parts of the country.
However, science has taught us that protein is essential for human survival and so every human
community must provide its own animal protein.”
While calling on people to utilise the advantage provided by patronising the hub, the governor noted that by the time the farms would have been fully developed,the State would be supplying other states.
State Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Wale Adedoyin, said the decision of government to embark on the development of the farm was to reduce the hardship people always face in the process of transporting the rams from other parts of the country.
Adedoyin said what informed the establishment of the cattle fattening hub was as result of a visit that the state had to Zambia where the fattening of rams and cattle is adding so much to the economy saying the government believes the state can also utilise the opportunity and boost the economy of the state.
He said the aim is to support the people of the state by subsidising the price of rams to people during the coming Eid-Kabir celebrations especially because of the unrest in the northern part of the country which will hinder people from going to buy the rams.
Earlier in a welcome address at the event, the Director General of the Office of Economic Development and partnerships, Dr Charles Akinola indicated that this year’s sales
indicates a lot of improvements over that of the previous year saying that the government is so much committed to creating food sufficiency for the people of the state.
It will be recalled that as part of his efforts to make the celebration of eid-kabir worthwhile, the Governor last year provided necessary needs at Oloba Cattle hub in Iwo to ensure cattle are bred for purchase in the state at lower prices.
The development assisted many Muslims who were not financially buoyant to perform their obligations of slaughtering rams for eid-kabir celebrations.