Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture, has organised a pre-season training and sensitisation programme for the next batch of Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) beneficiaries.
Delivering his speech at the event in Abeokuta, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina said the training was in line with the vision of Governor Dapo Abiodun to generate employment for youths through agriculture, noting that 2,500 hectares of land have been cleared for cultivation of various crops across the State.
According to him, the training was ongoing concurrently in 11 Local Government Areas of the State, to equip 1,065 beneficiaries of ABP with the basic agricultural knowledge in cassava production, financial inclusion, as well as nutrition, which according to him is a plus to series of trainings that would be given to them later by extension agents.
Odedina who assured the participants that government would continue to support them through intervention projects and programmes, emphasised that Governor Abiodun remained committed to making Ogun the food basket of the nation, charging them to always get clarification from appropriate quarters instead of wrong information posted on social media.
He added that beneficiaries would be linked to off-takers at regulated prices among others, saying the ABP intervention was not a grant but a loan, which must be repaid with little interest, hence the need to utilise the knowledge gained for maximum profit.
Representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Adekunle Badejo noted that among the various intervention programmes of CBN, agriculture takes the central stage, stressing the need for less dependence on oil.
Delivering lecture on the topic “Good Agricultural Practices in Cassava Production”, Mrs. Omolara Aina disclosed that government has arranged extension agents, who would guide them and monitor their activities at every stage, charging them to take cognizance of weed control to avoid their crops from being chocked.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr. Albert Adewunmi described the training as a laudable exercise, appreciating the State government for smooth registration process and procurement of farm lands for all participants.