Rice Farmers in Ogun under the Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF) have lauded the Federal Government’s continuous support on agriculture and assured of judicious utilisation of their farm inputs with effective production.
The beneficiaries gave the commendation when a monitoring team from the National Prgramme Management Unit (NPMU) and the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) visited their rice farms on Friday.
The team visited the rice farms in Odeda, Odogbolu and Yewa South Local Government Area of the state.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Kehinde Okekpekpe, from Odogbolu Local Government, who spoke on behalf of the rice farmers, pledged that they would make effective use of their farm inputs.
She assured that this year’s planting season would be a bumper harvest and also increase food security.
She, however, appealed to the government to always bring the improved seedlings and other farm inputs earlier, and at the right time.
She said the late input distribution sometimes affected planting.
According to her, they should have passed the land preparation stage if the seedlings were given to them earlier before the time it was distributed.
Okekpekpe also urged the government to help them get ready off-takers or market
to buy their harvested produce.
“The government should please help us get off-takers, because we can not spend money on farming and at the end we don’t see buyers. Rhat is the only fear we are having,” she said.
Mr Seriki Musa, the team leader from the NPMU, said that the team was in the state to monitor the farmers to know if the inputs given to them previously had been able to make progress.
Musa expressed satisfaction with the performance of the farmers so far, especially in the land preparation and planting.
“We have seen that lots of them are making progress in terms of preparation of land to plant their crops, but there are one or two challenges they are encountering which can be solved before each of them will go for full production.
“During this monitoring, we were able to see that there is amput preparation on the part of the farmers that they are ready to use the inputs.
“Even some of them have tested the viability of the input and they have seen it is vibrant, so they are ready to go into it and put into use.
“We are coming back soon because there will be an end line survey to see the effectiveness of the outcome of this support.
“We need to know how it has affected their livelihood, whether they have planted it, whether they have increased in production, and if they are able to get profit from it.” he said.
The team leader said that the intervention was to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on farmers and also improve their incomes and food security.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Ministry of Agricultural through the VCDP, on May 20 distributed free inputs to 109 rice farmers in the state.
The input distributed included improved rice seedlings, herbicides and fertilisers.