By; NIYI OGUNGBOLA, Abeokuta
The Federal Government of Nigeria has described Ogun State Government’s agricultural drive as one of the best in the country.
The National Coordinator, Value-Chain Development Programme (VCDP) Hajia Fatimah Mukhtar-Buhari, gave the commendation during her courtesy call on the Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun at the Executive Chamber, Governor’s Office, Abeokuta.
Hajia Mukhtar-Buhari who came to inspect some agricultural projects said, VCDP wants to support the State in areas of cassava and rice Value-Chain opportunities and to link up the farmers with off-takers.
“We are here to support Ogun in cassava and rice Value-Chain. Quite some time now, we’ve been monitoring and supervising agricultural activities in different states and we are happy to say that Ogun State is one of the best. So, we want to link up farmers, especially women with off-takers”, she said.
The Governor of the State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who was represented by his Deputy, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, said the present administration was poised at using agriculture to boost food production, increase employment opportunity and create industrialisation.
He added that the State had embraced Anchor Borrowers’ Programme to enhance Value-Chain, processors, infrastructure, as well as accessible rural roads to market agricultural products.
“We want to boost food production and increase employment opportunity and participate in intervention Programme through agriculture. The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme embarked upon is meant to create value-chain, processors, infrastructure and accessible rural roads”, he said.
Welcoming the guest earlier, Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina hinted that the State government was partnering with Federal Government, International bodies and private investors to boost agriculture, through technology, having provided enabling environment for businesses.
Odedina revealed that Ogun State, being the highest producer of cassava in Nigeria, had set up different cassava processing centres, in over 20 villages across the State, adding that the State was also the highest producer of rice in the South-West and had established rice farms in eight Local Government areas.
The Project Coordinator, VCDP, Mr. Samuel Adeogun, lauded the federal government for the support and eulogised the State government for releasing 2018 counterpart fund as and when due.
He enumerated various intervention programmes done by the VCDP in conjunction with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), part of which was modernisation of Fufu market at Ifo, through procurement of solar powered bore-holes, climate change intervention, good agronomic practices among others.
Adeogun added that over 30 young farmers had been trained by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and another 10 certified as seed producers, while another 20 certified as cassava cuttings producers, to boost farmers’ capacity and improve productivity.