No fewer than 2,500 on the Federal Government, Ogun state as well as the International Fund for Agricultural Development , IFAD, Value Chain Development Programme ,VCDP, have been empowered with Agricultural inputs.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina, while flagging off the 2020 Inputs Redemption by Farmers under the FGN/OGSG/IFAD model at Odeda Local Government Area explained that the programme was one among many other laudable Agricultural schemes facilitated by the governor to assist farmers.
He submitted that notwithstanding the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, the state government would continue to expand Agricultural activities and explore available Agricultural opportunities at all levels for the good of farmers.
Odedina submitted that the Agricultural roadmap of the state had been revised to address envisaged effect of Covid-19 pandemic.
He said, ”We are not stopping Agricultural activities even in the heights of covid-19, other states have started copying us. We are not going to starve in Ogun State, pandemic or not, it will not affect us, in this period, we will be opening all opportunities”, he said.
Odedina charged the beneficiaries to use the inputs for the purpose it is meant for, saying that part from the Anchor Borrowers Programme, there are many other Agricultural programmes such as Ogun State VCDP as the government has demonstrated capacity to manage the continuous increase in the number of applications for Agricultural opportunities.
According to him, It is because of the continuous advocacy of the governor, Dapo Abiodun that we are now having investors coming into the State as well as many other international organisations and the CBN has expressed interest in various other commodities”.
Speaking earlier, the Ogun State Coordinator, VCDP, Samuel Adeogun, said the programme which is jointly implemented by the Federal, State and the International Fund for Agricultural Development was in line with the objectives of the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) and the National Economic Recovery and Growth plan.
“The objective is to catalyse a marked-led value-added production, processing and marketing of Rice and Cassava commodities and products by smallholder farmers through the adoption of best practices and innovations that increase efficiencies of the value chain of the commodities, attract the youths and ensure gender inclusiveness.
“The inputs support is under the matching grant arrangement in which the farmers pay 50 percent of the cost of the inputs and the programme pays 50 percent using Growth Enhancement Scheme ( GES) module however, because of the Covid-19 pandemic for year 2020, the programme reviewed the arrangements and farmers will pay 40 percent and the programme 60 percent. For sole women and youth groups, they will pay 30 percent while the programme pays 70 percent”, Adeogun said.
He noted that the implementation is in line with Agricultural revolution initiatives of the current administration as the State is the only state in the South West among the 9 states where VCDP is being implemented.
According to him, the phase of the input distribution for 2020 planting season for both Cassava and Rice was the fifth in the life of the programme , adding that since inception, over 8,000 small holder farmers have supported with input to cultivate about 9,000 hectares across 8 implementing Local Government Areas in the State.
Responding on behalf of other beneficiaries, a farmer, Chief Taofeek Odedina expressed appreciation to the government for the gesture, assuring that they will utilise the inputs appropriately.
Dignitaries who graced the occasion include members of the State House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Dotun Sorunke, Caretaker Chairman, Odeda Local Government, Hon. Semiu Bola Lawal among others