Ogun State Government has assured of its intervention in the renovation of dilapidated structures, control of flooding, curtailing of theft for the Ilaro fish farmers’ clusters, just as the Association of Small Holder Village Level Processors will be offered soft loans to further enhance their operations.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina disclosed this during a tour to Ilaro Fish Farmers Cluster, operated by the Yewa Initiative on Poverty Alleviation (YIPA) and the Association of Small Holder Village Level Processors in Ilaro, Yewa South Local Government Area, saying Government was supporting food processors as they remain key in the job creation and food sufficiency programmes of the present administration.
Odedina stated that efforts would be intensified to improve on the food processing locations across the State towards making them viable and meet the increasing demand for staple food.
“Our focus on Agriculture is inclusive intervention, we don’t want to abandon or cut off Small holders’ farm production entrepreneur, that is why we are including them into the various Agricultural intervention programmes of the State government such as the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and many others.
“To do this effectively, there is the need for us to take stock. We want to come up with infrastructural support in the area of flood control, land grabbing just as increase Government attention will be noticed here, they have been cut off in the past in terms of intervention. We will upgrade this facility to provide some form of demonstration to gradually incorporate them into best practices”, he assures.
The Commissioner noted that the tour became imperative to replicate what is obtainable in Eriwe, Ikangba as well as Ikenne Fish clusters, revealing that aquaculture was a good business with immense job opportunities.
Responding on behalf of YIPA and the Association of Small Holder Village Level Processors, Dr. Ebenezer Bamidele appreciated Government for coming to their aid, submitting that when the intervention is completed, the facility would employ more people and increase their capacity in catering for the increasing demand for fish and other staple foods.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Dotun Sorunke, reiterated that the State government had helped in reporting issues of flooded ponds to the Federal Government for further assistance.
The Commissioner was accompanied by the Director of Fisheries in the Ministry, Mrs. Victoria Ojelade, among other top management officials.