The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has disclosed that his administration will continue to partner investors towards providing the needed capacity that the State’s agricultural sector requires.
Prince Dapo Abiodun who made this known at the Treasury Board Meeting on year 2020 budget, held at the Oba’s complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, noted that his administration was committed to revamping the sector to make it a model for other South-Western States.
Abiodun added that the State had been positioned to be the food basket of the nation, citing the zeal and commitment his government had shown in the last six months as the reason for the assurance received from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
‘’If the State can take full advantage of the Central Bank of Nigeria programmes on agriculture, it will not only feed its people, but feed the nation, as well as employ its teeming youths. On our part, we will continue to collaborate in providing the needed capacity that this sector requires. We will also ensure that the commitment we have pledged is fulfilled’’, he noted.
In her presentation, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Bosede Ogunleye thanked the governor for his resolve to make the State a reference point in agriculture, adding that the recently launched Anchor Borrowers Program had fully shown how truly committed the government was to developing the sector as over 50, 000 intending Agri-preneurs of the Anchor Borrowers Scheme had been verified in all the 20 Local Governments of the State.
She called on government to assist the Ministry to overcome challenges being faced by Officers on the field with the provision of Hiluxes, motorcycles, trucks and tractors, to cover the hinterlands.
Meanwhile Governor Abiodun has charged the Agro Services Corporation to be competitive and ensure that services rendered by it was at parity with others agencies in providing agro-services to farmers.
In his response, the General Manager, Agro Services Corporation, Engr. Lanre Adeyinka, assured that the corporation presently has 22 bulldozers, adding that 14 of the bulldozers were functional, with a plan to refurbish another six to be able to serve the farmers effectively when land clearing activities commence.
Adeyinka added that the Corporation charges the lowest in the State for bulldozers, at N85,000 naira for 8 hours; a fee, he noted was cheaper than its competitors, who charges as much as N120,000.
He solicited for government’s assistance for the procurement of 50 tractors and equipment, to complement the 15 functional tractors, which were working below the capacity that would take care of the needs of farmers, as the last procurement for the corporation was in 2012.
“The last time government procured tractors for Agro Services Corporation was in 2012, so this time around, we are proposing that 50 tractors and equipment be purchased to complement the existing ones. As we speak, we have only 15 functional tractors, which is below capacity to cater for our farmers”, he said.