Post COVID-19: Abiodun Distributes Planting Materials To 40,000 Smallholder Farmers In Ogun - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Post COVID-19: Abiodun Distributes Planting Materials To 40,000 Smallholder Farmers In Ogun

Wife of Ogun state governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun (right) flanked by the State Agric Commissioner, Dr. Odedina (left) presenting a bundle of cassava to the Secretary, Cassava farmers association, Mr. Balogun 

Michael-Azeez Ogunsiji 
ABEOKUTA - The Ogun state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun on Wednesday, began the distribution of planting materials to 40,000 Smallholder farmers across the 20 local government of the state. 

The distribution of the planting materials which include; maize, cassava, cashew seeds,  Cocoa seeds, was given to the farmers for free as post covid-19 relief palliative.

The distribution programme held yesterday under the project, "Covid-19 Planting Materials Palliative For Smallholder Farners" held at the Ogun state Agro Services Corporation, Ikenne, Ikenne local government of the state. 

THE ENCOUNTER NEWS recalled that, the state government had penultimate week flagged off the commencement of the 2020 planting season with input, credit and technology support for 3,500 cassava farmers who are beneficiaries of the first batch of the Anchor Borrowers Programme.

Governor Abiodun while addressing the farmers, said,  the importance of empowering the Smallholder farmers became imperative as the world is confronted with envisaged Covid-19 induced food crises. 

Abiodun said his administration has priotized improved planting materials in agricultural revolution, saying the introduction of improved farm input will help to bridge the gap between the low yield and potentials of crops. 

The governor who was represented by his wife, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun noted that, the initiative was aimed at deliberately diffusing improved planting materials into the rural farming communities.

He said each farmer would receive 2kg of improved open pollinated maize seeds, and two bundles of cassava this season which would be able to take charge of the planting materials needed next season. 

He added that, an estimated 80,000kg of maize and 80,000 bundles of cassava were to be distributed free of charge to 40,000 farmers in the project.

"Let me also inform you all that the estimated 80,000kg of maize and 80,000 bundles of Cassava to be distributed free of charge to 40,000 farmers in this project, would be able to plant 3,200 hectares of maize and 1,600 hectares of cassava; which will be an additional seed bank in the hands of smallholder farmers, in addition to other hectarage they are cultivating in their larger spaces. 

"I am pleased to also inform you that, we are about to commence the same support for rice, cotton, maize, cattle farmers and others. All nine (9) Agro Service centres are now stocked with inputs, where farmers who do not fall into the category of free distribution can purchase inputs. 

"I am equally pleased to further announce a 20% discount for smallholder farmers buying additional seeds, herbicides,  fertilizers (2 bags)  and other inputs at government designated input centres."

Also speaking, the state commissioner for agriculture, Dr. Samson Adeola Odedina, explained that the renewed focus on Agriculture by the state government was in rapid response to the much envisaged Covid-19 food security related challenges as a result of the global movement restrictions.

He said, "The renewed focus on Agriculture by the State Government is in rapid response to the much envisaged COVID-19 food security related challenges, due to global movement restrictions that have affected all sectors, including Agriculture. The pillars for Agricultural intervention approved for the Ministry of Agriculture clearly have, as top priority, Food Security and Support to Smallholder Farmers.

"I join other stakeholders, including the Federal Government and several donors present here, to express our appreciation to His Excellency for approving the revised agenda on Agriculture, which recognizes the need to empower Smallholder Farmers, so that they are able to inject new improved planting materials into their cropping systems,

"I will like to place on record, that His Excellency also approved the stocking of all me (9) Agro Input Centres with seeds, fertilizers, weed killers, tools and others. It is joyful experience to see that Agricultural activities and the rural economy in Ogun State have not collapsed; and we shall continue to bring more people into Agriculture, as part of our collective responsibility to Food Security, Job Creation and Agriculture Industrialization."

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