Agriculture experts from Federal Government and six benefiting states in the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) value chain programme, converged on Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital to find workable suggestions on how best to improve the programme.
At the event held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in the state capital, participants suggested a paradigm shift in the way agriculture was being practiced with old farm population to involve adequate youth participation.
Seventy per cent youth involvement is being targeted in the six benefiting states to ensure the sustainability of the programme, especially in rice and cassava value chain.
Speaking at the event, the Director of Agriculture in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Salisu Hammed, who represented the Minister of Agriculture emphasised the need for establishing entrepreneurship skill in the youths to ensure the sustainability of the programme.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary in the Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture, Oladapo Odeyemi, also highlighted some of the steps being taken by the state government in establishing entrepreneurship skill in the youths.
Beyond this rhetoric, it is suggested that the best practices in the agriculture sector must be embraced if the country must match up its food production with its ever increasing population.
Six states – Ogun, Anambra, Ebonyi, Niger, Benue and Taraba – are currently benefiting from the Federal Government and IFAD value chain programme, aimed at ensuring food security and abundance and the diversification of the economy.
The National Leadership of the Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria has read the riot act to cattle breeders, who have continued to give the association a bad name following cases of criminal activities across the country.
The riot act was read at a parley with the officials of the Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture, south-west Nigeria, on Saturday.
The National Secretary of the Association, Baba Usman, said that it would not be business as usual for perpetrators of criminal activities among the cattle breeders which had led to many lives lost and millions of Naira in property destroyed.
Ogun State, being an entry point for cattle breeders, continues to witness many attacks, which has led to loss of lives, while farm produce running into millions of Naira, had been lost to criminal activities by criminal elements among the breeders.
The meeting, was, however, held to demonstrate the state’s readiness for peace and cordial relationship with their host communities.
Sarkin Fulani from various communities in the state were called to preach the gospel of nonviolence and criminal activities, especially to the breeders, who were on the field
Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, says his administration is ready to revolutionise the state’s agricultural sector and its value added chains so as to create employment and reduce poverty
The governor’s declaration is part of plans to improve Ogun State’s economic base towards food sufficiency and security.
Governor Amosun made the promise while playing host to the Country’s Programme Manager, Value Added Chains of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Mrs Atsuko Toda, at his office in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital in South-west Nigeria.
While assuring farmers in the state of better years ahead, the governor also expressed readiness to partner with IFAD in agricultural development.
Director of Research and Statistics, Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture, Dele Olugbebi, decried that, many initiatives introduced by the government at all levels, the sector is yet to find its level.
He emphasised that over 90% of local farmers still depend on traditional means of production and poor marketing.
Despite putting other incentives in place for farmers in the state by the government, Chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Ogun State chapter, Segun Dasaolu, urged the government to do more.
The State government in conjunction with IFAD is expected to empower about 1,500 farmers and provide cluster processing centres for selected agricultural produce.