Oyo State Government through the Nigerian Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), has embarked on aggressive afforestation drive with distribution of 40,000 tree seedlings to 400 hundred farmers on Gambari Forest Reserve and all the adjoining villages which include five communities in the state.
The distribution of seedlings was part of the state government’s efforts to engage farmers in tree planting so as to reduce erosion, rehabilitate degraded forest reserves and sustain a conducive environment.
The Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources in the state, Mr. Biodun Oni, stated this during the training and distribution of 40,000 seedlings to 400 farmers at Seriki Adeyinka Community Hall in Oluyole Local Government Area of the state.
Oni disclosed that the seedlings distributed to farmers would be planted in Gambari Forest Reserve and individual farmlands, adding that the program was organised by Oyo State Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (OYONEWMAP) in collaboration with the World Bank to boost the ecosystem and support livelihood of farmers in the state.
Farm tools which include herbicides, safety boots, knapsacks sprayers, cutlasses, hoes, rakes, shovels, watering cans were also distributed to the farmers to empower and support their farm activities.
Farmers were drawn from Gambari Forest Reserve and its adjoining villages which include Seriki Adeyinka Adeaga, Balogun, Aboloye Omi Araro, Ojabadan, Buso-Gbooro, Aba-Oke, Aba-James, Onipe and Agbegi villages.
The commissioner noted that the effects of global warming and climate change on human lives added that illegal cutting of trees for domestic and industrial use without replacement has exposed the human and environment to danger.
He enjoined the beneficiaries of the farm tools to make good use of them for their livelihood improvement.
Oni said: “We call on the beneficiaries of this gesture to make good use of it as it will definitely affect their livelihood positively.”
“Apart from the farmers’ personal gains, humanity itself, our people in the State, especially where the trees are planted will enjoy serene environment that will contribute to their good living.”
“We all know the inimical consequences of tree felling for whatever reason, deforestation is having bad effects on our lives and our environment, we must act now.”
In their separate lectures, Dr. Adejoke Akinyele and Dr Lekan Olajuyigbe of the Forestry Department of the University of Ibadan, spoke on the theme: “Support to develop and promote availability of tree crops of short rotation for sustainable firewood production,” dwelled on the importance of preserving the environment, which has positive impact on the environment and human beings.
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