Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun on Friday said the the state government had facilitated access to credit facility by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for over 10,000 farmers across all 20 local government areas with N700million already drawn.
Abiodun disclosed this at the 2020 World Food Day celebration , held at the Arcade ground, state secretariat, Abeokuta.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was with the theme “Grow, Nourish, Sustain Together”.
The governor stated that both the youths and women benefited from the credit facility, saying that it was aimed at improving food production in the state.
“The theme of this year’s world food celebration “Grow, Nourish, Sustain Together” is very appropriate to our peculiar circumstances.
” As countries around the world now “live a new normal” foisted on us all by the widespread effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a time to look, plan and build the future together.
“This year’s celebration has been put in place to sensitize the world at large towards increasing food production with a view to achieving food security and reducing to the barest minimum, the incidences of hunger and malnutrition worldwide.
“Preserving access to safe and nutritious food is and will continue to be an essential part of our own response to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for the poor and vulnerable communities,” he said.
He urged countries all over the world to make human nutrition a major plank of their recovery plan from the COVID-19 crisis, and make food systems more resilient and robust.
He noted that, as countries began to develop and implement COVID-19 recovery plans, it remained an opportunity for everybody to adopt innovative solutions to build back better and improved food systems.
Abiodun explained that agriculture occupied a unique place in the economy of the state, saying that it had always been the mainstay of the economy.
He opined that the state government had put in place programmes to enhance the fortunes of farmers and encouraged the people to return to the land.
He said that government would continue to provide a conducive atmosphere and an enabling environment that would attract both local and foreign investors into agricultural production and processing.
In his welcome address, Dr. Samson Odedina, the Commissioner for Agriculture, noted that the state government had already cleared and prepared land for 1,065 young cassava farmers out of 2,500 hectares already cleared by the government for young people.
Odedina explained that the government would continue to liase and partner with stakeholders in pursuing agricultural agenda in terms of job creation through agricultural value chain opportunities, agricultural industrialisation.
“Linkage of young people /farmers to the industrial process and focus on food and nutrition through promotion of cultivation, consumption and business in nutritious and biofortified foods which are being achieved through strategic partnerships, ” he said.