NEWSMAN, Abeokuta – To tackle poverty, Ogun State is relying
on inclusive agricultural growth in the rural areas, aim is to increase
the income of rural households.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Samson Odedina, speaking
during an online webinar said the government has taken steps to bolster food
security by providing farmers with support and pursuing reforms to strengthen
The impact of COVID-19 pandemic challenged the state’s
economy, jobs, food and nutrition and has shown how critical the food system
was in ensuring resiliency
To help farmers, the commissioner said the state is working with partners to distribute seeds and other inputs to help them produce fresh and healthy food, which were made available and accessible to residents, THE NATION reported.
The Commissioner said, ‘‘With unemployment high across the
country, Ogun is encouraging youths to venture into farming’’.
He said the Government is ready and working towards
empowering a 1000 youths in various agric ventures to increase economic
development opportunities and support entrepreneurs who are ready to launch
agriculture and food systems projects and others who want to build their
capacity to participate in the sector.
Odedina said the plan was to deploy substantial public
resources and mobilise private investment to make the agricultural sector more
competitive, as well as increase its value-added through agro-industrial
So far, he said, the agriculture sector has grown
exponentially and the positive trend was likely to continue.
The growth, he explained, had been very positive for the
economy as well as for those whose jobs depend on agriculture.
According to him, the sector has seen palpable improvement,
attracting domestic investment and increase in processing of agricultural
Odedina attributed the development of the sector to the
government goals of creating rural jobs and boosting food production migration
through the improvement of socio-economic conditions across various
agricultural areas of the state.
On the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Anchor Borrower’s
Programme (ABP), he explained that the funds from it are credited into the
beneficiaries’ account, without passing through any intermediary.
He said direct disbursement was adopted because the
beneficiaries entered into agreement with the apex bank and farmers’
organisations and that the beneficiaries must abide by the terms of the credit
He noted that the Ministry and farmers groups maintain a
technologically-driven verified list of the processed and pending application
for the Anchor Borrower’s Programme, as it was “practically impossible to
misappropriate or divert funds, as there was a validation exercise for each
participating farmer, who is linked to the National Identify Scheme.
Another speaker at the webinar was the Team Leader,
International and Rural Development, the Livelihoods Support and Development
Centre, Prof Kola Adebayo.
He urged the government to sustain a partnership that will
enable it to benefit from the expertise of researchers and specialists.
He said every effort should be targeted towards making Ogun
a platform for best practices, innovative solutions and technologies which will
be applied on the ground in various value chains.
Adebayo urged the government to provide a greater focus on
large-scale agriculture infrastructure development, while also encouraging
The Managing Director, AACE Foods, Temitope Jebutu, said the
company sources raw materials from smallholder farmers in
Ogun and transform them into spices, spreads, sauces and
According to him, chili peppers, ginger, garlic, soya beans,
and maize are among the products, AACE sources from smallholder farmers.
Through its innovative packaging, competitive pricing
strategy and distribution approach, he said the organisation has created a
market for low-income farmers.
Managing Director, Agro-Park Development Company Limited, Sola Olunowo, said his organisation has provided a platform to share knowledge and experiences on innovations and encourage youths in agriculture.
He said the focus is on investing in expanded agricultural research, ensuring farmers access to the market economy and improved infrastructure and improving food security.