Great season for agriculture – Punch Newspapers
There is something unique about quality: it speaks for itself. This fact was quite evident when, recently, Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun once again brought home the Governor of the Year gong in agriculture. Abiodun, who won the 2020 Nigeria Agricultural Award, was celebrated at the Feed Nigeria Summit Ceremony held at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja. And he did not retain his administration’s intention of a paradigm shift in the sector.
He said, “In line with our determination to partner with the private sector and provide an enabling environment for investments and agribusiness businesses, we have become the epicenter of the world as a reliable host and partner, especially with the government initiative to establish a freight airport to complement the African Development Bank Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone and other donor funded projects including the IFAD / FGN Value Chain Development Project , in which our state has achieved enormous success with 12,000 beneficiaries supported by technology, inputs and credit.
The governor, briefing the assembly on the expected gains from the freight airport that his administration intends to offer to actors and actors in the global agricultural value chain next year, affirmed that his government strongly believes in inclusive agricultural opportunities that would not eliminate small farmers. , young people and women. The agenda, according to him, is to increase support to small farmers and ensure job creation, food and nutritional security, agricultural industrialization and the link between producers / farmers in the industrial process, in an approach innovative value chain.
He added: “Ogun is the largest producer of eggs and broilers, the largest producer and exporter of citronella oil, the largest aquaculture center in West Africa (according to the FAO) and many more … The Ogun State Economic Transformation Project aimed to support 40,000 smallholder farmers and Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (N-CARES) are two major projects of the World Bank which are fully operational in the state to support our agricultural program. Another prominent World Bank project is the Agribusiness, Agricultural Productivity Improvement and Livelihood Improvement Project.
This, apparently, is a great thing. When he received the award for the best governor of the year in agriculture last year, it was for the various steps taken by his administration in such a short time, notably his integrated approach to production, processing and marketing through land supply / input distribution, processing and marketing to individuals and businesses. He was honored for supporting 40,000 smallholder farmers with inputs such as seeds, cassava cuttings, insecticides and herbicides during the 2020 planting season; giving 10,000 farmers fertilizers, palliatives and ongoing support across the state; supporting young farmers with over 900 hectares of land preparation in 17 sites, with some 2,500 young and unemployed farmers engaged in cassava production; establish strategic partnerships with international development partners and farmers in large-scale rice and cassava cultivation in 36 locations in 11 local government areas, and empower 54 young pilots in broiler production, each achieving a benefit of at least 150,000 N per cycle for three cycles.
The panel of evaluators was impressed by the link of 4,462 participants in inputs and credit to the tune of N 700 million in the cassava value chain, and the link of 1,065 participants to inputs and credit of up to N700 million. 300 million naira in the rice value chain. They applauded the link of 800 participants in inputs and credit to the tune of N360 million under the value chain development program assisted by the Ogun State Government / Federal Government / IFAD, with 394 maize farmers, 54 rice farmers and 21 poultry farmers benefiting from Nigeria’s incentive. -Risk sharing system for agricultural loans through the Central Bank of Nigeria. They saw the interest in building 14 solar-powered water supply systems in some local government areas and establishing a rice processing center in Eggua.
The list of interventions was endless: the 5-star CBN Cassava program, the Cocoa Development Initiative and the Palm Oil Expansion Program, the FG / Ogun / IFAD Assisted Value Chain Development Program for more than 3,000 farmers in 11 local communities; the World Bank’s COVID-19 action revival and economic stimulation project; Agro-transformation, agricultural productivity and livelihood improvement project supported by the World Bank; EU / GIZ / Federal Government / Lagos State / Ogun State Nigeria Competitiveness Project for 3000 farmers, including youth, in tomato and chilli value chains; Technological innovations from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and support to agriculture and related activities, including technical support, demonstration farms and business development in Ogun State.
Ogun State’s economic transformation program to empower more than 40,000 farmers took off even as the administration concluded plans to hook farmers up to tractors, plant stopgaps and help them lower production costs . A joint Ogun-Kebbi commission on rice production entered the matrix. And what’s more, the Ilisan-Remo Agro-Cargo Airport has rolled out in the Ikenne local government area, a phenomenal facility slated for completion in May of next year. This is to help develop the state as a destination of choice for agriculture in the country. As is known, Ogun holds a comparative advantage in arable crops such as cassava, yam, corn, sweet potato and cash crops such as cocoa, oil palm, stamp, cola, cashew nuts and rubber. But much more has been done since last year.
Last month, Ogun State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Adeola Odedina, joined the heads of Fan Milk Plc (Danone), CBN and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Development. rural during a study visit by Danone Dairy and Stakeholder Facility in Cairo, Egypt. The study trip is a prelude to the commissioning and opening of the dairy facilities of the agricultural institute of Odeda, which is under construction. Prior to the tour, the French Ambassador to Nigeria Jérôme Pasquier and his team made a scheduled visit to agricultural investment sites in Ogun State on August 10.
In any case, a leading player in raw materials, AFEX, is already partnering with the agricultural investment company, South-West Agriculture Company (SWAgCo) and the State of Ogun for the development of 5,000 hectares intended for the production of multicultures in the geopolitical Southwest. zoned. Crops targeted for the partnership include cassava, rice and maize. As Dr Odedina noted: “Our agricultural program as a state continues to be bold and exemplary, and this agreement is a very important step in this program. Together with AFEX and SWAgCo, we are creating a staple cultivation area as an essential part of the execution of the Special Agro-Industrial Zone (ZAP) for the State, being developed in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Africa Development Bank. ” AFEX will deploy its exchange platform to raise funds for the project and allow market access for the products derived from the project.
That’s not all: an integrated agricultural estate, a garri packaging plant and a soil testing program of 200 trainees are in sight. The administration has signed a number of memoranda of understanding with national and international development partners such as IATI, HarvestPlus and other private sector partners on private sector-led initiatives, providing the necessary confidence to investors. While the interventions mentioned here are only a fraction of what is currently underway in Ogun State, they provide a sufficient basis to conclude that when it comes to agriculture, the administration led by Abiodun is about to take the state to the next level.
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