The Ogun State Government is upscaling the production of kolanut, with the distribution of 5,000 kolanut seedlings to farmers across the State, to further boost exportation of cash crops.
Speaking at the flag-off of the distribution, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Abosede Ogunleye, said the up scaling became necessary, as many kolanut trees were too old to bear fruits, while others have very low yield.
Ogunleye said the up scaling, which was a collaboration between the Ogun State government and Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), would see benefiting farmers trained on proper planting methods, so as to enhance kolanut production and create wealth for the farmers.
She implored farmers to make good use of the opportunity provided to replace their old kolanut trees, which has gestation period of 15 years, compared to the new variety being distributed, with a period of four to five years gestation.
Earlier, the Director- General, RMRDC, Prof. Hamid Ibrahim, said the Institute decided to collaborate with the State government for the improved kolanut seedlings, in order to promote the sustainable production of kolanut in the State, as well as stimulate investment opportunities in its entire value chain in Nigeria.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, the Chairman, Kolanut and Bitter Kola Association of Nigeria, Ogun State branch, Mr. Segun Soyooye, thanked the State government for the kind gesture, adding that the improved kolanut seedlings with a shorter gestation period would attract more farmers, especially the younger ones.