REPORT OF THE MEETING BETWEEN CASSAVA TEAM OF THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND NIGERIA CASSAVA GROWERS ASSOCIATION (OGUN STATE CHAPTER) HELD AT CONFERENCE ROOM ON TUESDAY 20TH JUNE, 2017.
Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture Mrs Adepeju Adebajo met with Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (Ogun State Chapter) on Tuesday 20th June, 2017. Also present at the meeting are The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Rev.Gbele Olugbebi, The Programme Director, Cassava Revolution Programme, Mrs Jokotoye Kehinde, Special Assistant to Governor on Agriculture Mr. Akintunde Akinmolayan. She appreciated the members of Nigeria Cassava Growers Association for honouring her invitation despite the short notice. She informed that the purpose of the meeting was at the instance of a meeting held with off-takers recently where they mentioned some of the challenges they encounter with farmers. In addition, to hear first-hand from the farmers, the challenges the Cassava subsector currently faces. She mentioned that there are a lot of opportunities for the farmers at this period and federal Government is ready to support farmers since the nation can’t be over dependent on oil.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Rev.Gbele Olugbebi on his own account said His Excellency is passionate about agriculture and mentioned that cassava sub-sector is a low-hanging fruit for the Ministry that is waiting to be exploited.
The Programme Director, Cassava Revolution Programme, Mrs Jokotoye Kehinde, stated that farm mechanization is of essence now because it will improve their yield and she advised Nigeria Cassava Association members to embrace use of Planter and other implement.
The Chairman of Nigeria Cassava Growers Association, Mr.Adeneye Akinbode appreciated the Honourable Commissioner for her time and that this meeting is first of its kind. He informed the committee that there major demand is land clearing because most of the lands in use were cleared by late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He hinted that Ogun State has the lowest total output in the Southwest.
- Land Clearing.
- Leasing of acres of land to multiple farmers.
- Inadequate of Farm Machinery (Tractor, Planter and other implements) in the State.
- Lack of Nigeria Cassava Growers Association Members Database
- Problem in assessing Central Bank Anchor Borrowers Programme in the State.
- HCA suggested that the association should identify communities that are willing to release their land for agricultural purposes.
- The Association should hire tractors from the private owners because Government tractors cannot be enough.
- .HCA said the Nigeria Incentive-Based Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) is now one of the partnering financial institutions for Anchor Borrowers Programme(ABP) and their involvement has come to allay the fears of Commercial banks. However, farmers need to change their attitude towards assessing credit from Government. She also stated that State is ready to partner with the Association on Central Bank Anchor Borrowers Programme therefore farmers’ database is a requirement.
The Honourable Commissioner appreciated the members of the association for attending the meeting and reiterated that Ministry of Agriculture is here to serve the farmers and that this meeting will hold quarterly.