Ogun State Government in collaboration with the National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation (NCAM), has flagged-off a mechanically cultivated rice harvest, using the SAWAH Eco-Technology for Rice Farming (SERIF).
SAWAH Eco-Technology is a Japanese model for rice farming, which increases yield optimally, through bunding and the use of inlet and outlet connecting irrigation and drainage.
It will be recalled that the State government and NCAM, established the technology-based demonstration farm, in November last year, with the aim of training youths in the locality, to grow rice all year round, taking advantages of natural resources like swamps and streams.
Governor Dapo Abiodun, at the event in Sawonjo, Yewa North Local Government Area, maintained that the exercise was a further demonstration of his administration’s resolve to promote rice value-chain in the State.
Represented by the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina, Abiodun assured that his government would continue to accord agriculture high premium, reiterating that in year 2020, the State government facilitated linkage for 3,721 rice farmers for funding opportunities, inputs, among others.
“We affirm our resolve to fund climate smart Agriculture, to enable our farmers integrate technology with abundant natural resources, to grow crops all year round, defeat negative effects of climate change and hunger. It will also provide jobs and ensure that our host industries run well, thus keying into the diversification agenda of the Federal Government, which is also a global direction in managing the dynamism of governance and economic integration”, Abiodun said.
He said the year 2021 will witness expanded opportunities in the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme in Rice and other commodities, adding that the State is also finalising partnership advantage with Kebbi and Lagos States, on the expansion of rice business.
Speaking, the National Coordinator, NCAM, Engr. Yinka Ademiluyi said the State government’s support had enabled NCAM to surpass other Geo-political Zones in Nigeria, expressing optimism that the farmers would realise maximum yields and profits, based on the SAWAH technology adopted, which would enhance effective water control and management, as well as improve efficiency of fertiliser, among others.
Contributing, the Chairman Yewa-North Local Government, Mr. Bankole David eulogised the State government for citing the demonstration farm in his domain, describing Prince Dapo Abiodun as a man of his words.
He expressed delight that the State has arable land where food could be produced all the year round, calling on farmers and youths to concentrate on the scheme to be productively engaged at every season of the year, just as he promised availability of more lands for expansion of the programme.
Speaking on behalf of the participants, Mrs. Patricia Martins and Mr. Akintola Jacob, said they now know how to plant better in every season of the year and make huge profit, thanking NCAM and the State governmemt for the opportunity.