Ogun State Government says the recently empowered 3,500 Cassava Value Chain Farmers, under its Anchor Borrowers Programme, will be given all round guidance from planting to harvesting.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina, who gave the indication while declaring open train the trainers workshop for extension agents in Ikenne, at the Ogun State Agricultural Develooment Project (OGADEP)’s Ikenne Zonal Office, emphasised the need to adequately monitor the farmers, so as to guide them into good use of the inputs.
“As you are aware, the State recently empowered 3,500 Cassava Farmers in an unusual manner; this is unprecedented and implies that we must take these strides higher through the provision of technical expertise and assistance to the farmers. We need this training to also improve the capacity of the farmers, that is why we have assembled world-class Agric tutors as resources”, Odedina submitted.
He said that the government was determined to increase cassava productivity in Nigeria and Africa, revealing that the state’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has become very popular and continue to attract more farmers, saying they needed to be guided by extension agents.
He charged them to provide supplementary support to the farmers, while describing the agents as ‘’soldiers of food security, who must ensure that the farmers get the required yield by giving situation report of each of the 3,500 farmers, because there are advancements in cassava production’’.
He thanked the resource persons and OGADEP for complying with the Covid-19 guidelines, maintaining that agriculture is about health and safety of the farm, as well as farmers.
In his remark, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Dotun Sorunke, noted that extention agents have major role to play, to ensure the success of the programme, saying, “it is important that we make success out of what we are doing, these farmers require much from you, the steering committee is working day and night, I want whatever you learnt here to rub off on the farmers.
Contributing, the Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Dr. Angel Adelaja- Kuye, said the team was determined to ensure that, after giving the farmers the needed inputs, there was also the need to bequeath them cutting edge farming systems, necessary to enhance maximum output, admonishing the agents to be Covid-19 compliant.
Meanwhile, Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina has described the State’s farm settlement at Ikenne, Ikenne Local Government, as a one stop shop centre and farm information bank, where all categories of farmers in the zone can access information, get farm inputs, as well as experts services.
The Commissioner said this while monitoring extended 150 hectares land clearing exercise, for additional beneficiaries in youth-focused agriculture and inspection tour to the settlement, where fertilizers, seeds, herbicides and other agricultural inputs are stuck for onward distribution to farmers in the zone.
He disclosed that all the Agro services centres in the State have been fully stuck, as the state was ready for the planting season, noting that government has linkage with input providers across the country, who will be engaged to enhance farmers’ productivity in the cassava value chain of the State’s Anchor Borrowers’ programme.
“we are standing on already cleared 150 hectares of land for allocation to young people, who have shown interest in Agriculture, including Anchor Borrowers’ Programme; since Governor Dapo Abiodun launched the empowerment for 3,500 cassava farmers, demand for land from young people and other category of farmers skyrocketed, so we are now looking into the land resources of all farm settlement in the State”, he said.