EHIME ALEX, Lagos
As part of measures in actualizing its agricultural and industrial vision, the Ogun State Government has assured stakeholders of its determination to follow transparency and due process.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Adeola Odedina made this known in Abeokuta during the 2020 New Year Forum organised by All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Ogun State Chapter, according to a statement on Friday.
Represented by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr Dotun Sorunke, Odedina said, transparency and honesty are inevitable for success in any organisation.
He hinted that agriculture production and processing have changed positively and now devoid of deceit, under the present administration, which necessitated the inclusion of members of AFAN and other private individuals in the operation of Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.
“Prince Dapo Abiodun led administration is poised at ensuring transparency and openness in his industrialization and agricultural drive, which will sustain the State as the industrial hub of the nation”, he said.
The Commissioner added that, apart from the Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme, plans were on to bringing World Bank Assisted Ogun State Transformation Project (OGSTEP) to empower 40,000 youths, saying, this would aid high agricultural turn-over and reduce rate of unemployment.
Also speaking, the Consultant to the Governor on Agriculture, Dr (Mrs) Angel Adelaja Kuye said, there is dignity in labour and agricultural dignity cannot be brushed aside.
She noted that, “there is no way a nation’s economy can thrive without agriculture, No agric, no food and opportunities abound for youths and women in agriculture”.
She added that to ensure farmers in the State move from local to modernised ways of farming, technology has a significant role to play, while assuring that government would continue to facilitate financial aids to farmers from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and other international bodies.
Delivering his lecture titled, “Anchor Borrowers’ Programme: A Panacea for Food Security and Industrialization”, the Chairman, Anchor Borrowers’ Programme in the State, Prof. Bolaji Okuneye highlighted non availability of Land, Capital, Technology and Off-takers as factors limiting farming in Nigeria.
He urged farmers to convert different wastages of livestock to manures and feeds in order to minimise cost and improve profits. He also charged them to plant and harvest their crops in due season and offset their loans in record time, so as not to deprive other potential beneficiaries.
Prof. Okuneye applauded the State Government and CBN for the feat recorded so far in the South- West stastes through the scheme, noting that it would be beneficial to all stakeholders involved, as well as, woo more investors to the State.
In a goodwill message, the Head, Project Monitoring, Reporting and Remediation Office, Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), in the State, Mrs Jumoke Ilo, appreciated the state’s AFAN for engaging in robust agricultural practice, and also thanked the State Government for providing enabling environment for farmers to operate.
The Branch Manager, Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC), Mr Aderoju Taiwo urged farmers to always ensure their farmlands were insured against unforeseen circumstances, disclosing that NAIC has always been prompt in the payment of indemnities to farmers who experience loss due to disasters.