Nigeria: Despite covid crisis, Ogun govt attracts over N1.3b to boost food production in 2020-Dr Odedina
London, Jan. 25, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Covid or no Covid, Ogun State govt, South West Nigeria has continued to strive in the area of agriculture and its now the Agro-Allied Investment Destination of the most populous country in Africa
And despite the disruption of economic activities by the negative impact of coronavirus pandemic throughout year 2020, the Dapo Abiodun-led led government still managed to attract N1.36 billion credit facilities to support the state’s small and medium scale farmers and boost food production
The credit facilities were to strengthen the states’ Agricultural Linkage Programme where over 70,000 farmers registered interests including youths and unemployed graduates in Agricultural Value Chain Programmes (AVCP). Participants cut across nine (9) agricultural commodities-Cassava, Maize, Rice, Fishery, Poultry, Cattle, Piggery, Cotton and Oil Palm
Specifically, the ministry of agriculture under the leadership of Dr Samson Odedina was able to link 4,462 farmers to inputs and credit to the tune of N700m in the cassava value chain, and 1,065 small-holder farmers to inputs and credit to the tune of N300M in the rice value chain through the CBN/Ogun State Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).
Another 800 small holder farmers were able to access inputs and credit to the tune of N360Million under the Ogun State Govt/Federal Govt/IFAD Assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP).
394 Maize Farmers, 54 Rice Farmers and 21 Poultry Farmers in Ogun State also benefitted from the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) through CBN
Again, in its Free and Improved Planting Materials Palliative Initiative, Ogun state govt supported 40,000 smallholder farmers with seeds, cassava stems, insecticides and herbicides. This was backed with Fertilizer Palliative Initiative for 10,000 smallholder farmers and continued support to production and processing locations in the food and farm sector
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Samson Odedina justified the government emphasis on financial support for the farmers. “Before we become self-sufficient in food production particularly in rice production and attain the expectations of our people in this regard, we would need to lend financial support to the growers, as rice production and farming are mainly controlled by the private sector.”
There is a need to empower small-holder farmers, who are proficient in rice production but encumbered by poor productivity as a result of poor inputs, he added. The efforts are yielding fruits, the commissioner said.
Our Success Story–Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Samson Odedina,
Currently, Ogun state boasts of about the largest concentration of agro-allied industries, such as cassava-ethanol processors in Agbara, rice factories, egg powder and garri processing factories.
Boosting the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) called “Green Alternative,” which aims, among other things, to tackle core challenges limiting food production and security through import substitution industrialisation, job creation, increased productivity and value chain development, Ogun State government has made deliberate efforts to deepen food production, value chain enhancement and investment-friendly environment for agro-industrialists and smallholder farmers.
Dr Samson Odedina, said the state Agricultural Agenda centres around six key strategic pillars, which include Food Security and Support to Smallholder Farmers; Job Creation through Agricultural Value Chain Opportunities and Nutrition and Food Safety through the promotion of Cultivation, Consumption, and Business in Nutritious and Bio-fortified Foods
Others include Agricultural Industrialization and Industrial Linkage of young people/farmers to Industrial process; Agriculture Hub; Strategic Partnership and Private Sector Engagement to key into Agricultural Policies of the Federal Government of Nigeria, including diversification of the Economy.