Over 2,500 farmers have been empowered with Agricultural inputs, under the Federal and Ogun State governments, as well as the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP).
Flagging-off the 2020 Inputs Redemption by Farmers at Odeda Local Government Area, Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina, revealed that the programme was one of other laudable schemes to assist farmers, saying government would continue to expand agricultural activities and explore available opportunities.
Odedina charged beneficiaries to use the inputs for the purpose they were meant for, assuring that government has capacity to manage the increasing number of applications for the agricultural opportunities.
According to Odedina, “it is because of the continuous advocacy of Governor Dapo Abiodun that we are now having investors coming into the State, as well as, many other international organisations and the Central Bank of Nigeria has expressed interest in other commodities”.
Speaking earlier, the Ogun State Coordinator, VCDP, Samuel Adeogun, said the programme was in line with the objectives of the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) and the National Economic Recovery and Growth plan, adding that the distribution for 2020 was the fifth, with beneficiaries of over 8,000 small holder farmers to cultivate about 9,000 hectares across eight implementing Local Government Areas in the State.
“The objective is to catalyse a marked-led value-added production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava commodities and products by smallholder farmers through the adoption of best practices and innovations that increase efficiencies of the value chain of the commodities, attract the youths and ensure gender inclusiveness.
“The inputs support is under the matching grant arrangement in which the farmers pay 50 percent of the cost of the inputs and the programme pays 50 percent, using Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) module. However, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the programme reviewed the arrangements and farmers will pay 40 percent and the programme 60 percent; women and youth groups will pay 30 percent, while the programme pays 70 percent”, Adeogun explained.
He submitted that the implementation was in line with agricultural revolution initiatives of the current administration, hinting that Ogun was the only State in the South West, where VCDP was being implemented.
In their separate remarks, some members of the State House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture, Caretaker Chairman, Odeda Local Government, Hon. Semiu Lawal, lauded the agricultural strides of the state government, noting that it would increase farmers yield.
Responding on behalf of other beneficiaries, a farmer, Chief Taofeek Odedina, expressed appreciation to government for the gesture, assuring that the inputs would be appropriately utilised.