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Osun State was carved out of Oyo in 1991. The state covers a vast land mass of 15,875 square kilometers. Osogbo is the state’s capital. There are thirty local government areas in the state. These local government areas are spread across six main zones namely Osogbo, Ede, Iwo, Ikirun, Ilesha and Ile-Ife. These zones were further divided into three agricultural  zones by the Osun State Agricultural Development Project (OSSADEP).

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Agriculture has been the mainstay of Osun State economy for decades. The tropical climate and the fertile soil which the state enjoys support the production of crops and the rearing of livestock. The state has about seventy percent agrarian population. Until O-REAP, poverty remained a challenge to agricultural productivity in Osun. It limited farmers’ ability to access agricultural inputs and apply it to large scale farming. To address this situation, the government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola conceived the O-REAP initiative.

The acronym O-REAP stands for Osun Rural Enterprise and Agriculture Programme. This programme is a product of the collaborative effort between the Bank of Agriculture and the Osun State Government. O-REAP, which was flagged off on the 31st of March, 2011, is essentially a micro credit scheme established on the theory of group lending. The aim of this initiative is to alleviate the credit problem of farmers in the state by equipping them with soft loans through their registered cooperative groups. Each cooperative group was expected to have not less than ten members who are already involved in agric production process. 

Another objective of this programme is food security. Through O-REAP, the Osun State government aims to increase the production of arable crops for local consumption. What is more, through the scheme, the government aims to leverage on its comparative and competitive advantages in agriculture to transform its economy and achieve job creation, wealth creation, and youth empowerment.

Since its inception, the O-REAP has helped revamp the Osun State agric sector. One of the achievements of this programme is the facilitation of the allocation of large hectares of land to peasant farmers and interested members of the public who have passion for farming. 

Furthermore, attributed to O-REAP is the fact that more than seven thousand farmers from five hundred cooperative societies have benefitted from the state’s low interest loans under the Quick Impact Intervention Programme. The programme has equally trained 57 youths in livestock fattening; these youths, in return have fattened 2200 livestock in the state’s improved genetics programme.  Thanks to O-REAP, Osun State allegedly has the lowest poverty rate in Nigeria.

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In conclusion, agricultural development through the O-REAP initiative has helped revamp different sectors of the Osun State economy. It has given a new lease of life to the people of the state. It has positioned Osun to become the food basket of the South-West.

Through O-REAP, the Osun State government aims to increase the production of arable crops for local consumption and revamp the state’s economy.


Dr. Oyeleye, “Osun’s Legacy in Agricultural Land Reforms,” accessed on the 17th of December, 2019.

I.O. Adebisi, O. Jimoh, A. Jonathan, K.K. Osasona and E.O. Ojediran, “Determinant of Farmers’ Participation and Repayment of Osun Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Programme (OREAP) Micro Credit Loan Scheme,” Agro-Science Journal of Tropical Agriculture, Food, Environment and Extension, Vol. 18, No. 2, 2019.

J. O. Ayinde, B. E Olarewaju and D. I. Aribifo, “Perception of Youths on Government  Agricultural Development Programmes in Osun State, Nigeria,” Scientific Papers Series Management, Economic Engineering in Agriculture and Rural Development, Vol. 16, Iss. 3, 2016.

Featured Image Source: Osun State

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This article was first published on 25th December 2019 and updated on December 30th, 2019 at 11:31 am


Udevi, Obiamaka Angela holds a Master of Arts degree in History & International Studies. She's a freelance writer with a passion for food and healthy living. She can be contacted through her email address,

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