The Federal Government has described the present administration’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 when she visited the exco chamber to inspect some agricultural projects in Abeokuta.
She said that VCDP would support the state in areas of cassava and rice Value-Chain opportunities and link up the farmers to off-takers.
Mukhtar said, ”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 State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who was represented by his deputy governor, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, submitted that the present administration was poised at using agriculture to boost food production, increase employment opportunity and create industrialisation.
He added that the state has embraced Anchor Borrowers’ 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.
The 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 business.
He maintained that Ogun State, the highest producer of cassava in Nigeria, has set up different cassava processing centres in over 20 villages in the state.
Odedina also described the state as the highest producer of rice in the South-West and has established rice farms in eight local government areas.
The Project Coordinator, Value-Chain Development Programme, Mr. Samuel Adeogun, thanked 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 Activities (IFAAD), part of which is modernisation of Fufu market at Ifo through procurement of solar power, bore-holes, climate change intervention, good agronomic practices, among others.
Samuel added that VCDP has also devised a way of turning cassava pills and rice husk to source of solar power and to fire rice mills respectively.
He disclosed that over 30 young farmers have been trained by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and another 10 certified as seed producers, while another 20 have been certified as cassava cuttings producers to boost farmers’ capacity and improve productivity.
Also present are the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tokunbo Talabi, The Chief of Staff, Alh. Shuaib Afolabi, Head of Service, Alhaja Selimot Ottun, Senior Special Assistant on Agriculture, Dr (Mrs) Angel Adelaja-Kuye, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Dotun Sorunke and a host of other dignitaries.