The Federal Government on Wednesday distributed free inputs to 150 small holder rice farmers to boost food security in Ogun State.
The input distributed was facilitated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, was represented by Mr Usman Bashir, the FAMARD Assistant Director on Rice Value-Chain.
The minister said that the gesture was to support rice farmers with complete production inputs during the wet season farming.
Nanono noted that the aim of the intervention was to enhance food security and increase farmers’ income.
He also added that the initiative would boost the ongoing effort of the ministry on its various interventions aimed at alleviating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and effect of flood disaster.
He disclosed that each farmer would get complete inputs to cultivate one hectare of farm land.
He listed the inputs to be received by each farmer to include one bag of 50kg of certified seeds, four bags of NPK fertiliser, two bags of Urea fertiliser and one litre of growth enhancer (soil amended).
Others are four litres of pesticides and five liters of pre and post emergency herbicides.
The minister, however, urged the FMARD and ADP officers in the state to monitor the activities of the farmers in order to curb the farmers from diverting or selling the input.
He, however, appealed to the farmers to utilise the inputs judiciously to boost food production, adding that it will also encourage government to continue its support to farmers.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Adeola Odedina, represented by the Programme Manager, Ogun State Agricultural Development Programme, Mrs Taiwo Ayansanwo, commended the federal government and JICA for the programme which is aimed at ensuring food security.
Odedina said the input support would boost agriculture and further complement the effort of state government in increasing food production and employment generation.
Earlier in his welcome address, Mr Ganiu Olawunmi, the State Coordinator, said the programme was to encourage and restore the hope of rice farmers in the state.
Olawunmi said that all the beneficiaries were from 15 smallholder rice farmers associations from different local government areas of the state.
He noted that the Ogun State Rice Farmers were so lucky to be among the 10 states to benefits from the second batch of the inputs support.
He called on the farmers to take advantage of the initiative and ensure good agricultural practice.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs Patricia Martins, Mr Abiodun David and Mr Akintola Jacob, appreciated the federal government, JICA and OGADEP for the support.
They said that this would go a very long way in boosting food production in state.
They, however, pledged that they would make judicious use of the inputs given to them.