As State Hosts FGN/IFAD VCDP Trade Promotion Fair
In its drive to promote sufficient rice production, by making it available at both local and export market, Ogun State government has approved acquisition of three rice mills to promote production, especially of Ofada rice.
The state has also procured tractors and land clearing equipment to complement the existing fleet, to make agricultural equipment accessible to farmers. The state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who disclosed this at the 2017 Trade Promotion and Knowledge Fair, organised by the Federal Government and International Fund for Agricultural Development Programne (IFAD)-assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, during the week, with the theme: “Market And Product Development For Competitive Rice And Rice Value Chain,” said the issue of agricultural value chain has become topical in the promotion of sustainable agriculture in the country.
Represented by Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs. Adepeju Adebajo, Amosun, who stated that agricultural activities should not stop at production level, said consideration should be given to processing as it prolongs the shelf life of products and guarantees good reward for farmers’ efforts.
While appreciating the partnering agencies for agric development in the state, he said the state has paid its counterpart fund of “N124m for 2014 and 2015 facilitated a drawdown of N420m. These has facilitated among others: capacity building of over 4,000 farmers on good ground agronomic practices, construction of 20km farm access roads in Obafemi-Owode, Ijebu North East and Yewa North Local Council Areas, Construction of Cassava and Rice Processing Centres in Obafemi-Owode.
“Provision of Agro-inputs (Fertilizers, cassava cuttings, rice seeds and herbicides for 3,044 farmers in the five local councils, provision of cassava and rice processing equipment to six farmer organisations in Ijebu North East and Ifo local council areas, development of 500ha of farmland for cultivation of cassava and rice across the five council areas, and signing of 41 MoUs. I am glad to inform you that the payment of 2016 and 2017 counterpart fund has been approved and released,” he said.
The National Programme Coordinator, VCDP, Dr. Ameh Onoja, who noted that there are challenges, especially infrastructure in areas where it is operating, said the programme has begun to address the challenges, adding that they have been able to provide boreholes and other facilities, to make farming easy for the farmers.
He appealed to farmers to acquaint themselves with requirements to be eligible to enjoy what the programme stands to offer. Representative of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs. Heather Akanni, said Ogun was chosen as one of the benefiting states, to position the state in the area of Ofada rice brand.
Source: Sunday Guardian