The Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture has allocated another 100 hectares of planted cassava to beneficiaries of Batch C of the Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP) at Ipagbonrin in Imeko-Afon Local Government Area.
The first set of 100 beneficiaries in Batch C received their land allocations through the ministry at Ikenne Farm Settlement in Ikenne LGA in September.
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Speaking at the event, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Adeola Odedina, said the lands allocated were provided and cleared mechanically by the state government, while the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Cassava Growers Association ploughed, harrowed and planted on behalf of the beneficiaries.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Dotun Sorunke, Mr Odedina stated that Gov Dapo Abiodun had mandated the Ogun State Agricultural Development Project (OGADEP) to provide supplementary extension services and management to the beneficiaries, as well as release of money under a loan agreement of CBN.
The commissioner assured that off-takers would buy the cassava tubers after harvest, saying the ministry would continue to monitor and give necessary support to the beneficiaries, and advised them to forward any grievance through the channel provided by CBN under the loan agreement.
He explained that, “The governor has mandated OGADEP to provide supplementary extension services and management of the farms and release of funds under the loan agreement of CBN. Beneficiaries should continue to forward grievances through the channel provided by CBN under the loan agreement.”
Odedina urged them to inform others of the opportunity in cassava cultivation and other crops, calling on more youths to leverage on the programme as “the future of Nigerian economy depends on agriculture.”
Addressing the participants, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture, Dr Angel Adelaja-Kuye, applauded Gov Abiodun for his effort at reviving the state’s economy through agriculture, noting that anyone could benefit from the empowerment opportunities.
Also speaking, the Chief Whip of Imeko-Afon LGC, Hon Jelili Akingbade, who is also a farmer, advised the beneficiaries to take good care of the farms allotted to them for maximum yields, adding that they should be faithful at refunding the loans granted them by CBN so as to earn greater opportunities in the nearest future.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Bankole Joseph expressed joy and thanked the state government for the gesture, saying, “This will surely boost food production in the state.”